Casey Goodson Jr. was shot five times in the back and once in the buttock, according an official coroner’s report released on Thursday, March 18, by Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz.
The report confirms claims made by Goodson’s family that the 23-year-old had been shot multiple times in the back. A December autopsy showed that Goodson had been shot in the torso but did not specify whether he had been shot from behind.
“We have known since the moment we found him on the kitchen floor that he was murdered,” said Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother. “This report says it right there, Jason Meade murdered my son in his own home,” The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Goodson was killed by 42-year-old Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade on Dec. 4 outside of his family’s Columbus, Ohio, home. Meade, a 17-year veteran of the force, was finishing up an unsuccessful search for a fugitive as a part of U.S. Marshals Office fugitive task force.
Goodson was not a target of the Marshals operations and had no warrants. Peter Tobin, head of the Marshals’ Southern District of Ohio, said Meade spotted Goodson driving by waving a gun as the team of cops was gathered in a parking lot and wrapping up for the day.
According to Tobin, Meade pursued Goodson to his home, ordered him to drop the gun, and shot the young Black man when he refused. At the time of the shooting, Meade was on his own time and no longer on duty with the force, the U.S. Marshals Office is now saying. The deputy has been placed on leave pending an investigation. The FBI is conducting a civil rights investigation into Goodson’s death.
Goodson’s family has disputed authorities’ claims, and says he was holding a sandwich when he was shot while heading inside the home. His family said that even if Goodson had a weapon, he had a license to carry. Authorities claim they did recover a weapon at the scene.
Coroner Oritz previously ruled Goodson’s death a homicide and revealed that he had received multiple gunshot wounds to the torso without disclosing that he had been shot from behind.
The newly-released report indicates that five bullets entered Goodson’s body in what the report describes as a “back-to-front” trajectory. The sixth bullet traversed Goodson’s body from his right side to his left side.
The Columbus Division of Police said there were no witnesses to the shooting, and Meade was not wearing a body camera.
Sean Walton, a Columbus civil rights attorney retained by Goodson’s family, detailed the moments that came after the shooting happened.
“At that point, his 5-year-old brother started screaming, his 3-year-old cousin started screaming, and 72-year-old grandmother came into the kitchen and saw her baby on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood with Subway [sandwiches] lying next to him,” Walton said during the interview. “That’s the story, that a man was executed walking into his own home. It was not that a man was waving a gun.”
The family wants Goodson’s shooter, Jason Meade, terminated from his job as a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy. He’s been out on paid administrative leave since the shooting, according to the family’s attorneys.
“Given the facts of the autopsy and how Casey was executed, there’s no way that he should be able to continue on in law enforcement,” Walton told Atlanta Black Star on Monday. “That’s the first step. And then from there, we fully expect that he will be indicted, arrested and convicted for this murder.”
“Sheriff Dallas Baldwin has said that the coroner’s report does not tell the entire story,” Walton said. “And while that may be true, what does tell the entire story is the fact that Jason Meade has bragged about hunting people for a living and loving the fact that he hunts people. He has also bragged about using excessive force and the fact that he would take the days off and use them as a mini vacation. So that helps paint the story that Jason Meade hunted and executed Casey Goodson Jr., and did so without any fear of being held accountable by anyone.”
On Instagram last week, Payne said Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin has refused to speak with her as he has allowed Meade to remain on administrative leave since the shooting “collecting a paycheck.”
She added, “Let us all remember that he sent Meade on the assignment he was on knowing Meade’s history and extensive violent record.”
Meade, who has a history of violating use-of-force policies, has not been arrested or charged with a crime in elation to Goodson’s death.
Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said Wednesday that he won’t take further action against Meade until after the U.S. Department of Justice and the Columbus Division of Police announce the findings of their investigations, a process that could take many more months, if not years.