Casey Goodson: Family of Black man shot dead by Ohio deputy for 'waving a gun' says he was carrying sandwich
Casey Christopher Goodson Jr, was returning home after a dentist's appointment in northeast Columbus when a veteran Franklin County sheriff’s deputy confronted him
Ohio Police Department launched an investigation after a sheriff's deputy shot dead a Black man in a possible case of mistaken identity, reports state. The Black man, identified as Casey Christopher Goodson Jr, was reportedly returning home after a dentist's appointment on Friday afternoon last week, December 4, in northeast Columbus when a veteran Franklin County sheriff’s deputy confronted him.
The deputy, along with the US Marshal’s Southern Ohio Fugitive Task Force, had finished an unsuccessful search for a suspect when they encountered Goodson, 23. The task force has claimed that they saw him drive by waving a handgun and that they shot him as he exited his vehicle on Estate Place, just off Ferris, after Goodson refused to put the weapon down. The 23-year-old succumbed to his injuries.
Goodson's outraged and heartbroken family has, however, disputed the task force's account, and claimed that the 23-year-old was actually carrying a Subway sandwich after a visit to the dentist and was shot in the back as he walked into his home. Goodson, a worker at Gap, was also licensed to legally carry a weapon. His mother, Tamala Payne, took to Facebook to write: "Police shot him in the back three times through the door," according to Abc6.
Ever since the incident, the victim's family and activists have asked police to release bodycam footage. It was later confirmed by the US Marshal that Goodson was not the suspect the task force was searching for and that sheriff officers do not wear body cameras.
The Franklin County sheriff's office, on Sunday, December 6, publicly named the shooter as deputy sheriff Jason Meade, who is a 17-year veteran on permanent assignment to the US Marshal task-force. The sheriff is awaiting questioning by the Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident and Response Team (CIRT) and is currently not on duty.
The US Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, Pete Tobin, at a press conference, however, justified the shooting, saying that the task force had completed its work and was wrapping up, when a man drove past. "He was seen driving down the street waving a gun," Tobin said. "That’s when the deputy, at some point after that, he confronted him. And it went badly." The marshal claimed that Goodson was out of his vehicle when Meade approached him to confront him about the weapon. The officer claimed that he allegedly ordered the 23-year-old to drop his gun before shooting, according to USA Today.
Goodson, after his shooting, was rushed to Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital, where doctors later declared him dead. The sheriff's office released a separate statement citing the US Marshal's office, and claimed that a weapon had been recovered from the scene. They, however, did not mention whether Goodson had drawn his gun or pointed it at the officers or was just holding it when he was shot. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe fundraiser for Goodson has raised over $68,000.
The family's legal representative, Sean Walton, said that he was concerned about the transparency of the investigation. Walton said his concerns stemmed from Tobin's declaration who said that the shooting was "justified." Walton, while talking to The Columbus Dispatch, said: "No investigation has been conducted, to our knowledge. At that point they had not even began their investigation. So at the beginning of an investigation to say it's justified. Well tell us why it's justified because at that point Casey was a law-abiding citizen entering his home after leaving an appointment with his dentist while carrying food." Goodson's case will also be presented to a county grand jury for consideration.