A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man in Columbus, Ohio, last week after he claims the man waved a gun at him and refused to drop a firearm. The man’s family says he wasn’t doing anything wrong and he was legally licensed to carry a handgun.
Casey Goodson, Jr., was shot Friday afternoon by Franklin County SWAT deputy Jason Meade, who was working with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force looking for a wanted suspect. The task force was unable to locate the suspect, but they observed Goodson drive past waving a handgun, according to a statement from the Columbus Police Department.
Meade approached Goodson after he parked his car and demanded that he drop his firearm, Peter Tobin, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said at a news conference. After some kind of verbal altercation, Meade shot Goodson, who succumbed to his injuries after being taken to the hospital.
Law enforcement has provided no further details. Columbus PD says no other officers witnessed the incident, there is no body cam footage, and there are no other eyewitnesses (though Tobin says someone heard Meade order Goodson to drop his handgun).
Goodson’s family and attorneys tell a much different story.
“Casey was not a target of that task force and his death is completely unrelated to that investigation,” Walton + Brown, a law firm representing the Goodson family, said in a statement Sunday. “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.”
Goodson’s family claims the 23-year-old had just returned home from a dentist appointment and was only carrying a Subway sandwich, his keys, and his face mask when Meade confronted him. They say Meade shot him three times in the back after he had entered his home, and they say Goodson’s grandmother witnessed the shooting.
Goodson’s sister, Kaylee Harper, explained their version of events in a Facebook post.
“My brother literally walked across the yard, walked into the back fence to get to the side door, had his subway and mask in one hand keys in the other, UNLOCKED AND OPENED THE DOOR and stepped in the house before shooting him. IF HE WAS SUCH A THREAT WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG TO SHOOT?! WHY DID TOU KILL A MAN WALKING INTO HIS OWN HOME?!” she asked.
Goodson’s family also says he was legally licensed to carry a firearm, and several images of that alleged license have surfaced on social media. Based on the images, it’s clear Goodson was no stranger to firearms.
Goodson’s family says he only carried firearms for self-defense.
He “only carried guns to protect him, his home, and his family,” Sani Payne, Goodson’s other sister, told BuzzFeed News. “Never once had he used his guns for violence or ignorance.”
Goodson’s supporters are planning to hold a rally at the Ohio Statehouse on December 12.