Early Friday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy shot 23-year-old Casey C. Goodson Jr. multiple times outside his grandmother’s house, killing him.
But Goodson’s family tells a very different story.
They say that Goodson had just returned from the dentist carrying Subway sandwiches and was unlocking the door to go inside his grandmother’s house when he was shot multiple times in the back. He also had a license to carry a gun, they said.
“I question what threat was Casey presenting as he was unlocking the door to go inside his own home with his family,” Sarah Gelsomino, the family’s attorney, told The Washington Post on Monday.
After a protest demanding an independent investigation into Goodson’s death, the state attorney’s office on Monday turned down a request by the Columbus Police to take over the probe. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) said police took too long in waiting days to ask his department to handle the case.
“Not knowing all the reasons as to why so much time has passed before the case was referred to BCI, we cannot accept this case,” Steve Irwin, a spokesman with Yost’s office, said in a statement sent to The Post.
Goodson, who lived with his grandmother and mother in northeast Columbus, was the oldest of 10 siblings. The Ohio native was a truck driver who had recently lost his job because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gelsomino said, and found work in retail to help support his mother.
“He didn’t get into trouble,” said Gelsomino, noting that Goodson had no criminal record. “He wasn’t breaking any laws. He was just loving his family, living his life and taking care of his people.”
Goodson was shot around 12:15 p.m. Friday by deputy Jason Meade, a 17-year member of the force who was working with U.S. marshals, Tobin said at the news conference.
Hours after the shooting, Tobin told reporters that Meade had just finished an unsuccessful search for a fugitive when he spotted Goodson driving by and allegedly waving a handgun at him, the Dispatch reported.
When Goodson left his car, Meade demanded that he drop his handgun, a command that was heard by at least one witness, Tobin said. When Goodson did not comply, the deputy fired, Tobin said. Goodson was transported to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he died, Tobin said at the news conference.
Columbus Police, which took over the investigation, didn’t comment on the shooting until Sunday, when it identified Meade in a social media post, which also noted that a gun was recovered and that Meade was not wearing a body camera.
Gelsomino told The Post it is “quite likely” that Goodson had a licensed weapon on him, but that there is no proof that Goodson waved a gun at Meade. Gelsomino said neither she nor the family have any idea what transpired before the shooting.
“Casey carrying a weapon within his right does not justify him being shot,” Gelsomino told The Post, adding, “I really question the police narrative because those family members did not hear any orders to drop a gun.”
After Goodson was shot, Gelsomino said, he fell on the kitchen floor in a pool of his blood. His 72-year-old grandmother and his two younger siblings, who were in the house when the gunshots were fired, came running and found him on the ground beside the lunch he had bought for them.
“As Casey lie on the ground dying, the unopened Subway sandwiches that he brought for himself and his family sat next to him in a pool of blood,” the attorney said in a news release shared with The Post.
The family is demanding an independent and transparent investigation into Goodson’s death, Gelsomino said.
“There are a lot of questions,” Gelsomino said. “The family deserves to have answers sooner rather than later.”