A 23-year-old Black man in Ohio was shot and killed by police after they say he was seen holding a gun. But the family of the victim is pushing back, saying he was a licensed gun owner shot by authorities three times in the back as he was entering his own home.
Casey Goodson Jr. was shot and killed by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy on Friday, according to police. Authorities said Goodson was seen flashing a gun as he drove by a scene where sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshalls were conducting a search.
A sheriff’s deputy later identified as Jason Meade followed Goodson to confront him about the weapon, according to authorities. When he approached, Meade ordered Goodson to drop his weapon. After Goodson didn’t listen to the order, the deputy fired his weapon, according to USA Today.
Goodson was transported to the OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he later died, according to USA Today. Goodson’s weapon was recovered from the scene of the shooting, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
In a press conference on Sunday, U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin called the shooting justified, according to a local ABC affiliate. But Goodson’s family has a vastly different account of what happened.
They say that not only was Goodson a licensed gun owner who only obtained a gun to protect his family, he was shot in the back three times as he was entering his own home. He had just returned from the dentist.
“While police claim that Casey drove by, waving a gun, and was confronted by the deputy after exiting his vehicle, that narrative leaves out key details that raise cause for extreme concern,” the family said in a statement published through an attorney on Sunday. “Casey was shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home. His death was witnessed by his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door. Casey was coming home from a dentist appointment that day.”
His family says that Goodson had no prior criminal history and was not committing a crime at the time of the shooting. As he stood in front of his door, his family says he was holding his keys in one hand, and Subway sandwiches that he bought for his family in the other.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has opened an investigation into the shooting. The Sheriff’s Department says there is no footage of the incident, as Franklin County Sheriff’s task force officers are not issued body cameras.
Goodson’s sister, Kaylee Harper, flat-out accused the police of lying about what happened in a Facebook post published Saturday.
“My brother literally walked across the yard, walked in the back fence to get to the side door, had his Subway and mask in one hand, keys in the other, unlocked and opened the door and stepped in the house before shooting him,” Harper wrote. “Why did you kill a man walking into his own home?!”
Harper has started a GoFundMe to help cover her brother’s funeral costs. They’ve raised more than $22,000, far above their goal of just $9,000.
On Saturday, the People’s Justice Project, an Ohio-based non-profit focused on confronting police violence, held a rally in Columbus demanding an independent investigation of the shooting, as well as an independent autopsy.
A spokesperson for the Columbus Police Division, which was in charge of the investigation in Goodson’s death before it was handed over to the state, told VICE News that deputy Meade has not been suspended, but has been placed in a “non-enforcement capacity role,” where he will be doing administrative work.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.