The White House press secretary expressed condolences on behalf of President Joe Biden for the death of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell on Wednesday.

The remarks were delivered in response to a question about Bishop O’Connell’s death from EWTN News Nightly reporter Owen Jensen during a March 1 White House press briefing

“The President and the First Lady join Archbishop Gomez, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the entire Catholic community in the mourning of Bishop David O’Connell,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a briefing that covered topics including insulin prices, federal intelligence matters, and the opioid crisis. 

“We also express our sympathy and prayers for the family and friends of the Bishop, who will certainly…remember his legacy of service to those on the margins of society,” continued Jean-Pierre. “And so, again, we offer up our condolences to the community.”

The comments marked the White House’s first public remarks on Bishop O’Connell since his death Feb. 18 at his home in Hacienda Heights.  61-year-old Carlos Medina, the husband of a woman who did housekeeping work for O’Connell, was arrested in connection to the bishop’s shooting death on Feb. 20 and has since been charged in his murder. A motive for the killing is currently under investigation, authorities said last week. 

At a memorial Mass for O’Connell at St. John Vianney Church in Hacienda Heights on Wednesday, Archbishop José H. Gomez read a condolence message from Pope Francis assuring LA Catholics of his prayers and “spiritual closeness” as the community prepares for his funeral and burial at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Friday, March 3. 

“To those gathered for the Mass of Christian burial and to all who mourn Bishop O’Connell’s loss in the sure hope of the resurrection,” the pope’s message read, “the Holy Father cordially imparts his blessing as a pledge of peace and consolation in the Lord.”