South Bend Cop Cleared In Shooting, Arrested Same Day On Unrelated Charges
South Bend, IN – A special prosecutor appointed to investigate the shooting death of Eric Logan in South Bend announced last Friday that the police officer was justified in using lethal force and would not face any charges related to the incident.
The controversial incident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. on June 16, 2019 when South Bend Police Sergeant Ryan O’Neill responded to a call about a man breaking into cars at an apartment complex.
Sgt. O’Neill encountered a man whose legs were sticking out of his car and stopped to talk to him and find out if he was the owner of the car.
When Logan stood up, Sgt. O’Neill saw that the man’s hand was bleeding and he had a woman’s purse tucked under his clothing.
Sgt. O’Neill asked Logan about the purse and the six-foot-two-inch suspect raised an eight-inch knife over his head and started moving toward him.
The sergeant backed up and ordered Logan to drop the knife three times, but Logan continued walking toward him until the officer had no more room to retreat.
That’s when Sgt. O’Neill fired his weapon twice – just at the exact moment that Logan threw the knife at him.
Logan was hit once. The FOP said the sergeant sustained minor injuries to his forearm from the knife attack.
After he was shot, Logan remained standing but refused to answer Sgt. O’Neill’s questions as to whether he had been hit, the press release said.
South Bend police transported Logan to the hospital in a police car rather than delaying treatment to wait for an ambulance. He died at the hospital.
In the days that followed the incident, community activists gathered at the South Bend Police Department to protest the incident and marched to the County City Building to demand that city officials fire Sgt. O’Neill, WBND reported.
Despite the fact the investigation was ongoing, Sgt. O’Neill resigned effective immediately on July 15.
The FOP blamed the move on stress, the lawsuit filed by Logan’s family, and national media attention on the shooting that had generated numerous threats against the officer and his family, the South Bend Tribune reported.
The sergeant and his wife have three small children, including a newborn baby.
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski confirmed he had received Sgt. O’Neill’s resignation but refused to comment on it, the South Bend Tribune reported.
"There is no disagreement that Sgt. Ryan O'Neill shot and killed Eric Logan," the special prosecutor, Eric Hertel, told reporters at a press conference, ABC News reported.
Hertel’s eight-month investigation resulted in a 25-page report said that since former Officer O'Neill had claimed "both a personal right to self-defense and the legal authority to use deadly force in the performance of his official duties... there is no reasonable likelihood that any potential homicide charged could be substantiated at trial," therefore, criminal prosecution is "not possible."
"Evidence exists supporting two legal justification defenses of the shooting,” the report said. “Following an exhaustive investigation and analysis of the facts and the law, the State concludes that criminal prosecution of Sgt. Ryan O'Neill for the shooting death of Mr. Eric Logan is not possible."
Although the former police officer is in the clear for the shooting death of Logan, he was arrested on unrelated charges that same day Hertel announced the findings of his report, WNDU reported.
Charging documents said O’Neill was accused of paying a woman for sex on May 16, 2019.
The woman claimed the encounter occurred when Sgt. O’Neill was in uniform and driving a South Bend Police Department vehicle, WNDU reported.
O’Neill was arrested and charged with public indecency, official misconduct, and ghost employment.
He was released from custody later that day, WNDU reported.