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A black man carrying sandwiches was shot and killed on his grandmother’s doorstep last week by a sheriff’s deputy, and now his death is being investigated by federal authorities as a homicide, officials said.
Franklin County sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade was working with the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force looking for violent offenders when he opened fire on Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., 23, as he was entering his home in Columbus Friday, Columbus police said.
Columbus police had said earlier that Goodson was carrying a gun, and that Meade, a 17 year veteran in the force, had recovered it at the scene.
Meanwhile, U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin said at a press conference Friday that Meade reported Goodson was drove by and waved a gun at him.
Goodson’s family didn’t confirm whether he was carrying a gun or not when he was shot.
But Walton + Brown LLP, the law firm representing Goodson’s family painted a different picture, saying he picked up Subway sandwiches on his way home from the dentist and was gunned down in front of his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers.
His family watched in horror as Goodson fell to the ground and the sandwiches laid next to him in a pool of his blood, the firm said.
Tamala Payne called her son’s death “senseless” and said couldn’t understand why he was killed.
“This was senseless. My son would not have harmed a fly. If my son was given a command, he would have listened,” the grieving mother told CNN on Tuesday. “He was a law abiding citizen. Everything he did was legal. My son was murdered and there’s no way around it. He deserves justice.”
The incident began when Meade reported seeing a man with a gun, and encountered Goodson. The two men exchanged words before Meade shot and killed Goodson, police said, adding that Goodson wasn’t the man the deputy was looking for during the investigation.
Columbus police said there were no witnesses to the shooting and no body cam footage because Franklin County deputies aren’t issued cameras.
Sean Walton, the family’s attorney, said the allegation that Goodson was waving a gun is outrageous.
“It doesn’t make sense,” he told NBC News on Monday. “Who drives down the street waving a gun out of the window? This isn’t a music video. This is real life.”
He added that Goodson was licensed to carry a gun and Ohio doesn’t prohibit the open carrying of firearms.
Meade has been placed on paid administrative leave pending and investigation, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced Tuesday it has opened a civil rights investigation into Goodson’s death and is working the FBI and Columbus police.
Columbus police is conducting a separate investigation where homicide detectives will turn over evidence to the Franklin County prosecutor who will then present to the grand jury, which will determine if the shooting was justified.
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