As the investigation into the police shooting death of 23-year old concealed carry holder Casey Goodson, Jr. continues, several basic questions and disputed events remain unanswered and unaddressed.
What happened in the minutes before Goodson was shot on a quiet residential street in Columbus, Ohio on December 4th? Did he have his gun out, as Franklin Deputy Jason Meade says, or was it holstered, as his family claims? Where in the torso was Goodson shot? Were Goodson’s keys in the door of the family’s home, or was Goodson shot and killed as he exited his vehicle?
The absence of facts isn’t preventing folks from reaching their own conclusions, of course. Defenders of Deputy Meade say that the veteran law enforcement officer wouldn’t have mistaken a plastic bag full of sandwiches for a gun, while defenders of Goodson say the young man would never have recklessly waved or pointed a gun at anyone, much less a police officer.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. L.E.P.D. Firearms, Range, and Training Facility in Columbus executive officer Eric Delbert, who’s also the host of the OnTarget radio show and podcast, joins me to talk about the Goodson case and how it’s impacted the Second Amendment community in the city. Delbert, who’s active in law enforcement himself, calls the case a tragedy and says that he’s open to hearing the results of the investigation, which is currently being led by the Columbus PD with assistance from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division and the Cincinnati field office of the FBI.
I’m doing my best to keep an open mind as well, because we simply don’t know why Goodson was shot on December 4th. We know that he wasn’t the subject of the federal task force serving warrants in the area. We know that Deputy Meade and several other officers were in plainclothes when Goodson allegedly drove by them waving a gun. We know that Goodson was heading home from a dentist’s appointment and had stopped off at a Subway to grab sandwiches for himself and some of his family members.
We know that a neighbor says he heard a man shouting just before shots were fired, and when he looked out the window he saw three men, one holding a rifle, standing near the Goodson home. We know that he couldn’t immediately identify them as police, and called 911 to report a shooting oblivious to the fact that the men were law enforcement.
We know that Goodson’s grandmother also called 911, and reportedly told them that her grandson had just been shot three times in the back. We know that the Franklin County coroner has said that Goodson died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, but hasn’t said where on the torso the entry wounds are located.
None of it makes sense. Why would Goodson, by all accounts a responsible gun owner, flash a gun at police officers? Would Casey Goodson even have been aware that the men he drove by were police? Is it possible that Goodson himself saw several people with guns and pulled his own to warn them off has he drove away?
Why would Meade, by all accounts a responsible police officer, have shot a man steps from his own home without believing his life was in danger? Why did Deputy Meade decide to give chase while other officers chose not to do so? Is it possible that Meade saw a gun that wasn’t there, or one that was flashed in self-defense?
I have no idea what the answer to any of these questions might be, and the most frustrating thing is that we may never really get answers to our satisfaction, given the lack of body camera or other video footage of the incident. That doesn’t mean we won’t keep looking for answers, however, or stop covering this case. Despite all of the unknowns, we do know that this tragedy deserves our attention, and for now, an open mind.