Casey Goodson's fatal shooting by Ohio deputy found to be homicide: preliminary autopsy

Casey Goodson's fatal shooting by Ohio deputy found to be homicide: preliminary autopsy
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An Ohio county coroner’s office said in a report Wednesday that the cause of Casey Goodson’s death was homicide based on findings from a preliminary autopsy and a medical investigation into his death.

The news from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office comes a day after the office said it performed an autopsy on Goodson. The 23-year-old had been fatally shot by a local county sheriff’s deputy, identified by local authorities as Jason Meade, on Friday. 

“Based on findings from the autopsy and medical death investigation, manner of death is homicide. Cause of death, at this time is preliminary; we are awaiting medical records as well as the toxicology report. However, based on the current findings, cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds to the torso,” the office said in the report.

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The office added that it expects “a final report in approximately 12 to 14 weeks.”

The recent findings are the latest update in a case that has begun to attract national attention over the past few days.

The Columbus Division of Police said Goodson, a Black man, had been shot by Meade in Columbus last week. At the time, the agency said the deputy was working as a member of a U.S. Marshals Task Force focused on violent offenders, though it added Goodson “was not the person being sought” by the task force.

The division said that the deputy had “reported witnessing a man with a gun” during an operation. 

“The deputy was investigating the situation, and there are reports of a verbal exchange. The deputy fired at Mr. Casey Goodson, resulting in his death. A gun was recovered from Mr. Goodson,” the agency said.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, Peter Tobin, claimed the deputy confronted a man who had waved a firearm while driving a vehicle.

Toobin reportedly claimed the deputy confronted the man not long after the alleged display and the man was ordered to drop the gun after exiting his car. He said the deputy shot the man after he didn’t drop the firearm. 

However, law firm Walton + Brown, which is representing Goodson’s family, said the authorities’ “narrative leaves out key details that raise cause for extreme concern.” 

The firm said that Goodson had been shot while attempting to enter his home after returning from a dentist appointment with food from Subway for his family.

The firm said he was “shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home.” His death, they added, “was witnessed by his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door.”  

“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,” the firm said. “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.”

The firm also said that Goodson was “licensed to carry a concealed weapon and Ohio does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms.”

"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," they added in a recent statement.

According to the Columbus Division of Police, no body camera footage was recorded during the shooting. The agency said task force officers “are not issued body cameras.”

David DeVillers, U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Ohio, said in a statement that his office will be working with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, as well as the Cincinnati Division of the FBI and the Columbus Division of Police, to review the case. 

He added Tuesday that the officials will “take appropriate action if the evidence indicates any federal civil rights laws were violated.”

The Columbus Division of Police said Columbus Police Critical Incident Homicide Detectives will be “gathering and documenting the facts” in the case that will be turned over to Franklin County Prosecutor for review.

“The prosecutor will present the findings to a civilian grand jury,” the agency said. “The grand jury will determine whether the shooting was justified.”