Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the police shooting of a 23-year-old Black man, who was killed last week as he entered his Columbus, Ohio, home with sandwiches for his family.
US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers announced on Tuesday that his office, along with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the FBI, will review the shooting of Casey Goodson, who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Friday.
The incident is the latest in a recent series of police-involved shootings and killing of Black men in the United States.
Several high profile incidents have triggered mass protests, demanding an end to unjustified police use of lethal force in minority communities.
Last Friday afternoon, Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade was working for the US Marshals Service helping search for a fugitive when he saw a man with a gun in the Northland neighbourhood of Columbus, the Columbus Division of Police said in a statement. Meade opened fire when the man did not drop his weapon after he was ordered to do so, the statement said.
Goodson’s family said he was returning home from a dentist appointment with three Subway sandwiches for his family in his hand when he was shot by Meade as he entered his home.
“This is flat out an execution of an innocent man,” said the family’s lawyer Sean Walton on the Breakfast Club, a nationally syndicated radio show. “We need justice for Casey.”
Outraged and heartbroken once again that we have to elevate the life of another Black man that has died at the hands of law enforcement. Having just returned from the dentist and from grabbing a meal, Casey Christopher Goodson, Jr. was shot in the back as he entered his home. pic.twitter.com/U6OtVtK3Tb
— Shayla Favor (@sdfavor) December 7, 2020
Preliminary autopsy results showed Goodson died from multiple gunshot wounds in his torso, the Franklin County coroner said Wednesday. Final results are not expected for at least three months.
The cause of death was listed as homicide, a medical determination used in cases where someone has died at someone else’s hand, but is not a legal finding and does not imply criminal intent.
Police have only said that a deputy “shot” Goodson without detailing how many shots were fired.
Columbus police, who are leading the local investigation, said a gun was recovered at the scene. No other officers or civilians saw the shooting and there is no body camera footage of the incident, police said.
“I want answers. I deserve answers. I demand answers at this point,” Payne said in an interview with The Associated Press news agency.
Two callers to 911 reported hearing multiple gunshots that day, according to copies of those calls released Wednesday afternoon reviewed by the AP.
“Four shots fired from what sounded like an automatic weapon,” one caller said.
US Marshal Peter Tobin said that on the day of the shooting, Meade confronted Goodson outside his home after Goodson, who was not the subject of the fugitive search, drove by and waved a gun at Meade.
One witness heard Meade command Goodson to drop his gun, and when he did not, the deputy shot him, Tobin said. Goodson was taken to a hospital where he died.
Goodson had a concealed weapon permit and had hoped to become a firearms instructor, Payne and lawyer Walton said on Wednesday.
Payne said she wanted the deputy involved to be jailed and said she will never be able to hold her son again, except “at his damn funeral”.