Special prosecutor requested to investigate police-involved shooting

Sgt. Ryan O'Neill
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter has requested that the deadly officer-involved shooting of Eric Logan Sunday, June 16, be investigated by a special prosecutor, who will determine if criminal charges are warranted.

In the early morning hours of June 16, Logan allegedly approached a South Bend police officer with a knife raised. The officer, who has since been identified as 19-year department veteran Sgt. Ryan O'Neill, was responding to reports of a suspicious person going through cars in the Central High Apartments parking lot.

O'Neill shot and critically wounded Logan, who was transported to the hospital and later was pronounced dead.

The shooting has led to activism on Logan's behalf in South Bend, causing Mayor Pete Buttigieg to take time away from his presidential campaign to address issues in the city.

Buttigieg released a statement Monday afternoon in support of the decision to request a special prosecutor.

“I respect and support Prosecutor Cotter’s decision to seek an outside, special prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of Eric Logan’s death," the statement reads. "Our community is in anguish, and for all of us to come to terms with what happened, it is vital that the investigation be fair, thorough and impartial.”

Part of the unrest over the shooting stems from the announcement from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office that O'Neill's body camera was not activated prior to the shooting.

As part of the investigation requested by Cotter, the special prosecutor will be tasked with reviewing the existing investigation and deciding whether further investigation is necessary. The special prosecutor will also determine whether criminal charges are warranted in the shooting and will litigate those charges, if filed.

In the petition requesting a special prosecutor, Cotter noted that he wanted to "avoid any appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest or influence upon the ultimate prosecutorial decision to be made."

The St. Joseph County Circuit Court will select the special prosecutor, while the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council executive director is expected to furnish a list of people qualified for the position.

All information gathered by the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit in the investigation of the shooting will be transferred to the special prosecutor once appointed.

To read the full petition for the appointment of a special prosecutor, click here.