A 23-year-old Black man who was fatally shot outside of his Ohio home by a sheriff’s deputy last week was the victim of homicide, a preliminary autopsy report has determined.
Casey Goodson of Columbus died Friday from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Franklin County Coroner’s Office. The coroner’s final report is expected in 12 to 14 weeks.
Goodson, who had a concealed carry license, was returning home from a dentist appointment with Subway sandwiches for his family when the deputy gunned him down on his doorstep, an attorney representing the family said in a statement.
In Goodson’s final moments, his family said he staggered inside his home and fell to the ground where he died, leaving his house keys hanging in the door behind him. Goodson’s 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers near the door found him as he lay dying, the statement read.
“My 5-year-old son is the one who called me screaming, ‘Mommy, the police just shot Casey, he’s dead. Please, I’m so scared. Please, hurry up, come get here,’” Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, said in an emotional interview with “The Breakfast Club” on Tuesday.
The sheriff’s deputy — identified as Jason Meade, a 17-year veteran of the agency — had been assigned to a U.S. Marshals task force and was searching the area for “violent offenders” when he reported seeing a man with a gun, the Columbus Police Department said.
At a press conference Friday, law enforcement officials said Meade confronted Goodson, who they claimed had seen “driving down the street waving a gun.”
The U.S. Marshals task force was not seeking Goodson at the time, nor was he wanted by any other branch of law enforcement, police said.
There are few details about the circumstances surrounding Goodson’s killing. The Columbus Police Department said that no other officers witnessed it, that no civilian eyewitnesses of the shooting itself have been identified, and that the Franklin County Sheriff’s task force officers are not issued body cameras.
“There’s really nothing that they’ve alleged or said that Casey did on his walk from the car to the house that would justify him being shot,” Sean Walton, a lawyer representing the family, told NBC News. “He actually was putting his key into the door when he was shot. The key was hanging in the door even hours after the shooting.”
Police determined that Goodson had been carrying a gun, but Goodson’s family and attorneys say he was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and that Ohio does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms.
“He had never been in trouble in his life. Everything he did was legal,” Payne said while describing her son as an outspoken gun rights advocate.
“My son was more than amazing, and he did not deserve this,” she added.
As of Tuesday, U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the Cincinnati Division of the FBI, and the Columbus Police Department, whose jurisdiction the shooting took place in, are investigating Goodson’s death.
DeVillers vowed in a statement to “take appropriate action if the evidence indicates any federal civil rights laws were violated.”