Casey Goodson Jr shot six times by Ohio cop: Coroner’s report

Criminal investigation into Goodson’s death continues as coroner report sheds new light on controversial shooting.

People protest against the death of Casey Goodson Jr, a 23-year-old Black man who was killed by police as he entered his home, in Columbus, Ohio, on December 12, 2020 [File: Seth Herald/Reuters]

Casey Goodson Jr was shot six times by a white Ohio sheriff’s deputy last December, according to a report prepared by Franklin County Coroner Dr Anahi Ortiz released on Thursday.

Ortiz said Goodson, who was Black, was shot a total of six times. Five of the bullets entered Goodson’s back and one entered his buttock.

The cause of death is listed as homicide — a medical designation that is used when someone is killed by someone else that does not imply intent or guilt.

The final autopsy confirmed statements previously made by Goodson’s family that the 23-year-old died after former Franklin County sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade shot him multiple times in the back and torso. Relatives say Goodson was opening the door to his grandmother’s house at the time.

Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, told local media he was found in the kitchen of her home.

“This family and this city have been through enough trauma and our healing cannot begin until Meade is held accountable for this heinous act,” Sean Walton, one of the lawyers for Goodson’s family, said in a statement Wednesday night.

“Jason Meade is a threat to the community and public safety each and every day that he continues to be free,” he added.

Hundreds of marchers gather in downtown Columbus to protest the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr, who was Black, by a white Ohio sheriff’s deputy, on Friday, December 11, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio [File: Andrew Welsh-Huggins/AP Photo]

The shooting took place in Columbus on December 4 while Meade, a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was finishing up an unsuccessful search for a fugitive as part of a US Marshals Office fugitive task force.

Meade was suspended after the shooting.

US Marshal Peter Tobin has said that on the day of the shooting, Meade confronted the victim outside his home after Goodson, who was not the subject of the fugitive search, drove by and waved a gun at Meade.

One witness heard Meade command the victim to drop his gun, and when he did not, the deputy shot him, Tobin said after the shooting.

The family has said Goodson had a sandwich, not a gun, in his hand. In any case, he had a licence to carry a firearm, according to the family.

Officials said that a gun was recovered from the scene but have not provided further details.

Shortly after the shooting, Tobin held a news conference where he called the shooting justified, a statement he later retracted.

Goodson’s death sparked widespread protests in Ohio and elsewhere, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.

While Meade had been working with a US Marshals task force earlier in the day, both the Marshals and the sheriff’s office later said he was on his own time when the shooting happened.

The case remains under a joint criminal investigation conducted by the US Attorney’s office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Once the investigation is complete, Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack’s office will review the autopsy before making a decision on whether to charge Meade. The deputy remains on administrative leave from the sheriff’s office.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies