Casey Goodson Jr. Pointed Gun at Deputy Before He Was Fatally Shot, Attorneys Claim

Casey Gordon Jr. was shot to death by an Ohio sheriff's deputy who was looking for someone else.
Casey Goodson Jr. was shot to death by an Ohio sheriff's deputy who was looking for someone else.Handout

Attorneys for Jason Meade claim Casey Goodson Jr. pointed a gun at the deputy before he was shot to death.

Attorneys for Ohio deputy Jason Meade have released a statement claiming Casey Goodson Jr. pointed a gun at the law enforcement officer before being shot to death.

Goodson, a 23-year-old Black man who was on the doorstep of his grandmother's Columbus home, was shot multiple times last week by Meade, who was looking for someone else as part of a U.S. Marshals task force. His family says he was carrying sandwiches. Meade says Goodson was holding a weapon.

"At no time did Deputy Meade mistake a sandwich for a gun," attorneys for the Franklin County Sheriff's deputy said Thursday. "Mr. Goodson pointed his gun at Deputy Meade. There has been confirmation that our client gave verbal commands for Mr. Goodson to drop the gun." 

The statement is the first response on behalf of Meade since he shot Goodson on Dec. 4. The 17-year veteran is now on administrative duty while the FBI, the U.S. Marshals and the Columbus Police Department investigate Goodson's death.

There are widely differing accounts of what led up to Goodson being shot "multiple times" in a killing the coroner's office has preliminarily deemed a homicide.

Goodson's family said he was returning from a dentist appointment and was carrying Subway sandwiches for his family. Authorities said Goodson waved a gun at Meade while driving down a street and refused to drop it when Meade told him to.

U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin said at a press conference last Friday that Meade then fired at Goodson.

Goodson's relatives and attorneys for the family dispute those accounts. 

"Casey was treated as a criminal. Not only Casey, but his family were treated as suspects. They were treated as criminals," lawyer Sarah Gelsomino told reporters on Thursday.

Tamala Payne, Goodson's mother, told reporters nine family members were inside the home, including four children, when the shooting occurred but they didn't see it, nor did they see Goodson holding a weapon.

Goodson's family said he was a licensed gun owner. Payne said relatives were herded outside in the cold, some without shoes or coats, as investigators swarmed the house. She called for murder charges to be filed against the deputy.

Responding to public criticism of the shooting death, Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan promised a meticulous and independent review on Thursday.

"We hear your cries for more information and more answers. We hear your demands for justice," he said in a statement. "The difficult reality is, very often in police work, information and answers are necessarily, unavoidably, slow to come.

"That is not in the interest of secrecy, it is in the interest of justice," he added.

Earlier this week, Goodson's mother told ABC News, "What I believe in my heart happened is that Casey was murdered in cold blood for being a Black man."

Meade recovered a gun from the scene, the U.S. Marshals Office said, but did not say where it was found.

A final autopsy report won't be issued for three to four months, the medical examiner's office said. The office declined to provide further details, including how many times Goodson had been shot.

The Ohio attorney general’s office normally investigates shootings involving law enforcement, but officials said this week they would not take over the case because they weren't notified until three days after the shooting. By that time, the office said, the scene had been already been cleared and witnesses had been interviewed.

The Columbus Police Department said no surveillance video of the shooting has been located, and that no no further information about the case would be released as the investigation proceeded.

David M. DeVillers, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said Tuesday his office was reviewing the shooting with the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, the FBI’s Cincinnati office and the Columbus police.

Investigators will “review the facts and circumstances of the killing of Mr. Goodson" and “take appropriate action if the evidence indicates any federal civil rights laws were violated," he said.