Goodson’s family disputes the claims by law enforcement. They say that the 23-year old, who possessed a valid license to carry, had his gun on him but was holding a sandwich from a nearby Subway when he was shot.
Peter Tobin, the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said Friday that officers from a fugitive task force had been unsuccessfully looking for a suspect nearby. As that search wrapped up, Goodson drove past officers, according to Tobin.
“He was seen driving down the street waving a gun,” Tobin said at a press conference. “That’s when the deputy, at some point after that, he confronted him. And it went badly.”
Tobin alleged that Goodson was out of his vehicle when the deputy approached him to confront him about the gun and allegedly ordered him to drop the gun, USA Today reported. Tobin said that the deputy shot Goodson when he allegedly refused to drop his weapon.
Goodson was transported to Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital where he later died, USA Today reported.
Tobin said that Goodson was not the suspect that the task force had been looking for.
Through an attorney, the Goodson family says the account by police leaves out “key details” of the fatal encounter between Goodson and the sheriff’s deputy.
Casey was shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home. His death was witnessed by his 72-year-old Grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door. Casey was coming home from a dentist appointment that day. As Casey lie on the ground dying, the unopened Subway sandwiches that he brought for himself and his family sat next to him in a pool of blood. 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 – a reminder to his family of how close he was to safety.
Casey is not alleged to have committed any crimes, has no criminal background, and was not the target of any investigation. Casey was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and Ohio does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms. It is troubling that authorities have already stated that they believe the shooting to be justified, prior to any investigation taking place and before any information has been released to the family. 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.
This is obviously an incredibly troubling story, and the first thing that should happen is the release of any body camera footage that shows us what happened. I agree with the statement by the attorneys representing Goodson’s family that there was no reason for the authorities to say that the shooting appears justified before any investigation had taken place. There’s no dispute that Casey Goodson, Jr. wasn’t the man that police were looking for. There’s no dispute that he was shot on the front steps of his home as he was trying to get inside. The only dispute is whether Goodson was brandishing a gun at police officers and refused to drop the weapon.
On Facebook, Goodson’s sister flat-out accused officers of lying about what happened, saying that her brother had “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.”
That’s a completely different scenario than the one portrayed by police, and again, if there’s body camera footage that shows the events leading up to Goodson’s shooting it should be released as soon as possible. In the meantime, the Columbus Police Department, which is leading the investigation into Goodson’s death, needs to be as transparent as possible about the process, including any statements by the deputy who pulled the trigger.
I’m doing my best to withhold judgement in the absence of evidence, but there are legitimate questions raised by the family that need to be answered, and quickly. Let’s hope that the Columbus Police Department takes this investigation seriously and will soon provide more information and any evidence, whether it backs up the deputy’s story or not.