Special prosecutor named for South Bend officer-involved shooting

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU / AP) - A St. Joseph County judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the South Bend shooting involving Sgt. Ryan O'Neill that killed 54-year-old Eric Logan.

Richard Hertel from southeastern Indiana's Ripley County will oversee the investigation into the June 16 shooting and determine if criminal charges are warranted.

St. Joseph County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Cotter announced on June 24 he was seeking the special prosecutor.

Following Cotter's request for the appointment of a special prosecutor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg issued a release supporting the decision.

Logan's fatal shooting prompted Buttigieg, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, to leave the campaign trail for several days to answer questions about public safety and race.

Buttigieg is also asking the U.S. Department of Justice to assist after the deadly officer-involved shooting.

He says the tragedy has "touched off a painful discussion in our community about race, policing and violence."

He goes on to say that, as the mayor, he considers it imperative that there be absolutely no racism in the city's police department.

Lastly, he asks the Department of Justice to discuss the shooting and violence further.

Meanwhile, South Bend FOP President Harvey Mills released the following statement after the announcement of a special prosecutor being appointed for the investigation.

"The Fraternal Order of Police is confident that the special prosecutor appointed in this case will review the facts and conclude that Sgt. O’Neill was fully justified in using deadly force to defend himself when he was confronted by a convicted felon armed with an eight-inch hunting knife who advanced on Sgt. O’Neill and refused multiple commands to drop the knife. Sgt. O’Neill retreated as far as he could and used deadly force just as he and every other police officer is trained to do in that situation."