HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. (KABC) -- A man was arrested in connection to the shooting death of an auxiliary bishop in Hacienda Heights, law enforcement officials confirmed Monday.
The suspect in the shooting death was identified as 61-year-old Carlos Medina of Torrance. Medina is the husband of the bishop's housekeeper and was described as acting irrationally in recent days and claiming the bishop owed him money.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna provided details on the arrest at a Monday afternoon news conference.
Luna said it is not clear yet if there was any actual dispute between Medina and the bishop but detectives are looking into that question.
Bishop David O'Connell was found dead over the weekend in Hacienda Heights. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded to a medical emergency call on the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue just before 1 p.m. Saturday.
O'Connell was found in the room of a home with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. The 69-year-old, who was a priest and later a bishop with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 45 years, was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Sunday, authorities announced that the death was being investigated as a murder.
Luna said detectives were led to the suspect partly with information from tipsters, who described Medina as acting irrationally in recent days, making comments about the bishop and saying he was owed money. Medina drove a similar vehicle to one that was seen in video footage driving up to the home and staying a short time before leaving on the day of the bishop's death, Luna said.
Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Medina and a search warrant for his home. They learned he had left the area, but a community member alerted detectives that he had returned home around 2 a.m. Monday.
When detectives arrived and contacted Medina initially he did not want to surrender. But after several hours, he emerged from the residence around 8:15 a.m. and was taken into custody without further incident.
Two firearms were found at the home and they will be tested for evidence linking them to the shooting.
Shortly following the announcement from authorities, Archbishop José H. Gomez released the following statement:
"We learned early this morning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office that they have determined that the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell yesterday was a homicide. We are deeply disturbed and saddened by this news.
Let us continue to pray for Bishop Dave and his family. And let us pray for law enforcement officials as they continue their investigation into this terrible crime."
O'Connell's death prompted words of grief and solace from city officials and other notable figures, including former L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Devastated parishioners gathered by the crime scene over the weekend as deputies investigated.
"It broke me and I was scared to tell my wife because my wife loved him so much," said parishioner Johnny Flores.
Glendy Perez, another parishioner, said O'Connell "was a humble soul."
"He was not the type that would have confrontations with nobody," she said. "He was very loving, and he had like a gift of healing. When you would attend his ceremonies, it was like a gift of healing."
O'Connell, who was born in Ireland in 1953, was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015.
He studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained to serve in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979. After ordination, he served as associate pastor in several parishes and as pastor at several parishes in L.A.
He was the chairman of the Interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, helping coordinate the church's response to immigrant children and families from Central America.
Meanwhile, anyone with information about the death is urged to call homicide detectives at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.