SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – The police officer involved in a deadly mid-June shooting in South Bend has resigned.
Sgt. Ryan O'Neill
Sgt. Ryan O'Neill, who shot and killed 54-year-old Eric Logan outside Central High Apartments on June 16, resigned effective Monday, according to a release from the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 36.
The FOP cited job-related stress, national media attention and hateful social media comments as reasons for the decision.
“Sgt. O’Neill did his job and was forced to defend his own life from a convicted felon who was armed with an 8-inch hunting knife,” South Bend FOP President Harvey Mills says in the release. “We’re confident that the investigation into the shooting will determine that the action he took was justified based on the law and his training; however, job-related stress, the lawsuit, national media attention and hateful things said on social media have been difficult for O’Neill and his young family.”
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski issued a statement Monday evening confirming O'Neill's resignation but offering no further information.
“I can confirm that Sgt. Ryan O'Neill resigned from the South Bend Police Department effective immediately," Ruszkowski's statement reads. "I am in receipt of his resignation letter. I will have no further comment at this time.”
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a statement Monday night regarding O'Neill's resignation.
"Our efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue," Buttigieg's statement reads. "We will await results of the independent criminal investigation and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the police department and the community."
The Logan estate, at the behest of his daughter, filed a civil rights lawsuit against South Bend and O'Neill.
In addition to the lawsuit, there has been significant fallout in the wake of the police-involved shooting, including activism in South Bend, with some calling for O'Neill's firing or his paid leave status to be changed to unpaid.
One community activist who spoke to NewsCenter 16 said that resignation is, in a way, a victory.
"We pray up to God that justice be served. That's all we want, justice," Justice for South Bend founder Vernado Malone said.
O'Neill claims Logan charged the officer with a knife, which prompted the shooting. His body camera was not activated, however.
The FOP has remained behind O'Neill ever since the shooting, setting up crowdfunding pages and maintaining that the shooting was justified.
The full release from the Fraternal Order of Police has been reproduced below:
Today, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36 in South Bend, Indiana announced that Sgt. Ryan O’Neill will be resigning from the South Bend Indiana Police Department effective today.
“Sgt. O’Neill did his job and was forced to defend his own life from a convicted felon who was armed with an eight-inch hunting knife,” Harvey Mills, South Bend FOP President said. “We’re confident that the investigation into the shooting will determine that the action he took was justified based on the law and his training; however, job related stress, the lawsuit, national media attention, and hateful things said on social media have been difficult for O’Neill and his young family.”
Mills went on to point out that O’Neill is currently the subject of a special prosecutor investigation, a civil lawsuit, and potential departmental discipline because of this shooting.
“These fights are just too much for Sgt. O’Neill and his family to undertake right now,” Mills concluded. “Resigning will allow him to focus on these challenges, as well as assist his wife with their three children, one of whom is a newborn.”