Franklin County Coroner: Casey Goodson Jr. Killed By Multiple Gunshots To Torso

Dec 9, 2020

The Franklin County Coroner's office has ruled Casey Goodson Jr.'s a homicide, with the preliminary cause of death being multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.

Coroner Anahi Ortiz says the full autopsy will be released in 12-14 weeks.

"Based on findings from the autopsy and medical death investigation, manner of death is homicide," Ortiz wrote in a press release Wednesday. "Cause of death at this time is preliminary; we are awaiting medical records as well as the toxicology report."

A homicide finding means simply that the death resulted from a "volitional act committed by another person," according to the National Association of Medical Examiners, but not does not necessarily indicate any criminal intent.

Goodson, 23, was killed at his home by Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Meade last Friday, but the circumstances surrounding the shooting remain foggy.

The preliminary autopsy provides few answers. Goodson's family said that he was shot in the back while walking away from Meade, but the scant report does not indicate where the bullets entered from, or even the exact number of bullet wounds.

Ortiz declined to comment further.

On Tuesday, federal authorities announced they would launch an investigation into Goodson's death, in conjunction with the Columbus Division of Police. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David M. DeVillers said his office would review the case and "take appropriate action if the evidence indicates any federal civil rights were violated."

Columbus Police are also investigating Goodson's death. Once completed, Chief Tom Quinlan says they will hand over any evidence to the Franklin County Prosecutor to present to a grand jury, as is customary in local cases of officer-involved shootings. That grand jury will make the decision about whether to criminal charges should be filed int he case. 

The department on Wednesday released a statement addressing what it currently knows about the shooting, and address rumors circulating online.

"During an operation in the Northland area of Columbus, the deputy reported witnessing a man with a gun," the statement reads. "The deputy pursued that man, and there are reports of a verbal exchange. The deputy fired at Mr. Casey Goodson, Jr., resulting in his death."

The U.S. Marshal said Meade was part of a Fugitive Task Force wrapping up an unsuccessful search for a suspect when they came across Goodson, who they said was "driving down the street waving a gun." Officials say Meade went to confront Goodson, who was neither the suspect officers were looking for nor the subject of any investigation.

However, no body camera footage exists of their encounter – Sheriff's deputies like Meade don't wear body cams – no witnesses have yet come forward, and no other officers observed the shooting. The Sheriff's Office has also not offered Meade's account of the interaction.

Goodson's family has raised multiple objections to the initial account of his death, saying that Goodson was shot while coming back from the dentist. The family says he had just unlocked the side door to the house and was carrying Subway sandwiches for his family.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says it recovered Goodson's gun at the scene. According to Walton + Brown, the law firm representing Goodson's family, family members found Goodson lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of his own blood, but did not see a gun on him. Goodson did have an up-to-date concealed carry license.