Ohio police are investigating after a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a black man in a possible case of mistaken identity.
Casey Christopher Goodson Jr was returning home from the dentist on Friday afternoon in northeast Columbus when he encountered a veteran Franklin County sheriff’s deputy, working with the US Marshal’s Southern Ohio Fugitive Task Force.
The task force had just finished an unsuccessful search for a suspect and claim that they saw the 23-year-old man drive by waving a handgun, and that he was shot exiting the car on Estate Place, just off Ferris, after refusing to put it down.
Goodson later died of his injuries.
But his family have disputed the events and claim that the Gap worker, who was licensed to legally carry a weapon, was actually shot in the back as he walked into his home carrying a Subway sandwich after a visit to the dentist.
‘Police shot him in the back three times through the door,’ his mother Tamala Payne posted on Facebook, as reported by abc6.
Activists have asked police to release bodycam footage.
The US Marshal later confirmed that Goodson was not the person the task force was searching for and that sheriff officers do not wear bodycams.
Casey Christopher Goodson Jr. (pictured) was fatally shot three times by police who were searching for a different suspect and allegedly saw the 23-year-old ‘waving a gun’. His family say he was returning from the dentist carrying a sandwich
Goodson Jr. had been working at The Gap, as well as training to be a truck driver, and was licensed to carry a weapon, his family have claimed
The shooting took place on Friday afternoon in northeast Columbus after SWAT officers allegedly spotted Casey Goodson Jr ‘waving a gun’ and shot him outside his home on Estate Place (pictured). He later died in hospital.
Goodson’s family and friends, pictured outside his home in northeast Columbus following the shooting, have disputed the police’s version of events and said he was shot in the back as he walked into his home after a visit to the dentist
Relatives and friends were pictured gathered outside his home on Estate Place, northeast Columbus, following the shooting on Friday
On Sunday the Franklin County sheriff’s office publicly named the shooter as deputy sheriff Jason Meade, a 17-year veteran on permanent assignment to the US Marshal task-force.
He is not currently on duty and is awaiting interview by the Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident and Response Team (CIRT), which is investigating the incident.
The matter also will be presented to a county grand jury for consideration.
Pete Tobin, US Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said at a press conference on Sunday that Goodson was seen ‘waving a gun’ and was followed by officers who later shot him three times. Tobin said the shooting was ‘justified’
Pete Tobin, the US Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said at a press conference that he believed the shooting was justified.
He said 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.’
Tobin claimed that Goodson was out of his vehicle when Meades approached him to confront him about the gun and allegedly ordered him to drop the gun before shooting, USA Today reported.
Goodson was taken to Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he later died.
The sheriff’s office, citing the US Marshal’s office, said the suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene.
They did not say if Goodson had drawn or pointed the weapon at the officers at the time, or if he happened to be holding one when he was shot.
Goodson’s sister tweeted that he ‘did nothing wrong’ and was ‘another innocent black man gunned down by the police’
Goodson Jr’s family posted photos online of his license to legally carry a weapon
Sean Walton, the family’s legal representative, said he had concerns over the transparency of the investigation after Tobin declared the shooting ‘justified’ at the Sunday press conference, prior to an independent investigation.
‘No investigation has been conducted, to our knowledge,’ he told The Columbus Dispatch.
‘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, pictured here in 2008 aged 11-years-old, ‘loved his family’ and ‘was never in trouble’, according to family friend Heather Johnson
Goodson’s sister Kaylee Harper posted photos on Facebook of her late brother with his family and friends
Last year Goodson had trained to become a truck driver and posted photos online
About 40 people attended a Saturday night vigil for Goodson, hosted by the People’s Justice Project.
They are demanding that officials release body camera footage, police reports and conduct both an independent autopsy report and an independent prosecutor’s investigation, according to the People’s Justice Project’s Facebook page.
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s office claimed that the sheriff’s office does not have body cameras.
A Go Fund Me set up to help the family pay for funeral costs has exceeded its $9,000 goal.
Heather Johnson, a family friend, told USA Today: ‘Casey was 23 years old, he never had any type of crimes. He was good, he worked at the Gap, he loved his family.’
She added: ‘He just enjoyed being a big brother and enjoyed being with his family. He loved them very much.’
Goodson’s sister Kaylee Harper posted on Facebook: ‘My brother literally walked across the yard, walked into the back fence to get to the side door, had his Subway (sandwich) and (COVID) mask in one hand keys in the other, unlocked and opened the door and stepped in the house before (police shot) him. If he was such a threat,” she wrote, “why did you wait so long to shoot?!’
She added on Twitter: ‘He didn’t deserve this. Another innocent black man gunned down by the police. He was so young and had so much life left in him. I can’t take it. My brother really did nothing wrong. My heart literally heart right now. I love you Casey Goodson.’