The family of a 23-year-old Black man named Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., who was fatally shot outside of his Ohio home by a white Franklin County Sheriff's deputy, want answers over his death. BuzzFeed News reports the deputy is not the suspect or focus of any investigation into the deadly shooting of Goodson, which happened on Friday, Dec. 4 after authorities alleged Goodson was waving a gun from his car while driving down the street.
Goodson's family and local activists have started to raise questions over his death, scrutinizing the actions of Jason Meade, the 17-year veteran of the department who shot Casey three times in the back. He was on his way back from an appointment at the dentist and was carrying a Subway sandwich when he was shot by Meade, who was only identified by authorities as the shooter over 48 hours after it happened.
The statement from the US Marshal's office indicated a weapon was recovered from Goodson at the scene, although it did not specify what the weapon was or if he had it drawn. The statement did not reveal whether a firearm was recovered from him or somewhere in his home. His family has maintained he had a license to carry and own a gun, regardless.
The US Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, Peter Tobin, claimed on Friday that Goodson drove past officers wrapping up a search for a suspect nearby. "He was seen driving down the street waving a gun," Tobin alleged. "That's when the deputy, at some point after that, he confronted him. And it went badly."
Tobin said Goodson was allegedly ordered to drop the gun, and the deputy fired after he supposedly refused. After he was shot three times in the back, he was transported to Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital where he died. Activists have alleged Tobin's story doesn't line up with all the evidence so far, specifically in regards to how Casey was shot in the back or how he had a concealed carry permit.
The story police officers have given directly conflicts with what Goodson's sister Sani Payne told BuzzFeed News. She said he wasn't carrying anything more than a Subway sandwhich, his keys, and a mask when he was shot opening the door to his home. "They ran in the kitchen to my brother on the floor bleeding," said Payne, who added she wasn't at home at the time. Goodson's 72-year-old grandmother and two minors, however, witnessed his death firsthand. "Even hours after his death, the keys that he used to let himself in the house as he was shot and killed hung in the door," the family's attorneys said in a statement.
"Casey was not a target of that task force and his death is completely unrelated to that investigation," said the law firm. "While police claim that Casey drove by, waving a gun, and was confronted by the deputy after exiting his vehicle, that narrative leaves out key details that raise cause for extreme concern."
The firm added that Goodson has no criminal background, and was not a target in any investigation.
"At this point, witness testimony and physical evidence raise serious concerns about why Casey was even confronted, let alone why he was shot dead while entering his own home," the firm added. His family has set up an online fundraisier for his funeral costs on GoFundMe, and it has already exceeded the $9,000 goal, rising to over $24,000.