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Autopsy Report Shows Casey Goodson Jr. Was Shot Five Times In The Back

Casey Goodson Jr. was killed by a Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy last Friday.
Walton + Brown

An autopsy report shows Casey Goodson, Jr. was shot six times by a Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy, with most of the shots hitting him in the back.

The Franklin County Coroner'sautopsy report, released by the attorney representing Goodson's family, says Goodson was shot five times in the back and once in the buttocks.

“We have known since the moment we found him on the kitchen floor that he was murdered,” said Tamala Payne, Goodson's mother, in a press release. “This report says it right there, Jason Meade murdered my son in his own home.”

The Coroner's Office confirmed the autopsy's findings, which you can read in full below, on Thursday.

Goodson, who was Black, was killed in December by white Sheriff's Deputy Jason Meade, although the circumstances surrounding the December 4 shooting remain unclear.

According to the U.S. Marshal, Meade was part of a task force carrying out an unsuccessful search for a suspect in the Northland area of Columbus when deputies encountered Goodson, who was reportedly "driving down the street waving a gun." Meade followed Goodson and confronted him at his home.

In an emailed statement last month, Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said existing policy prohibits use of force "against anyone who doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the officer or to others" and that he will hold Meade accountable if the investigation shows he violated that policy.

"However, I also want to emphasize that criminal investigations over the years have shown that the physical location of gunshot wounds alone don’t always tell the entire story of what happened," Baldwin wrote.

On Wednesday night, he issued a statement reiterating the same message.

"I want to be clear that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office use of force policies prohibits any deputy from using deadly force against anyone who doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the officer or to others," Baldwin said. "When and if credible evidence shows that one of my employees failed to abide by that policy, I will hold that person accountable."

A combined criminal-civil rights probe of Goodson's death was being ledby the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, but U.S. Attorney David DeVillers recently resigned at the request of the Biden administration.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9 released a statement saying the autopsy results are one piece of the investigation.

"Once a complete investigation has been concluded, all the evidence will be weighed and presented to a grand jury," said Jeff Simpson, FOP vice president, in a statement.

There is no footage of the shooting, because Meade – like other sheriff's deputies – was not equipped with a body camera. A lawyer for Meade claims that Goodson pointed a gun at the deputy during their encounter, and police say they recovered a gun from Goodson's body after he died.

Goodson's family disputes both allegations, contending that he was carrying a bag of sandwiches while entering his home. Family members also say they did not see a gun in Goodson's hand or near his body.

The family's attorney, Sean Walton, says the autopsy leaves no doubt in the family's minds about what happened at the scene of Goodson's death.

"From our standpoint, it leaves no doubt as to what happened to Casey," Walton says. "And it just shows the need for immediate accountability with regard to Jason Meade. We feel like there is no reason he should not be terminated immediately from his position as a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy."

Walton said he is grateful that the leading investigators, the FBI and the Department of Justice, now have access to the autopsy.

"We’re just happy that the world can know the truth now, that Casey was shot in his back five times and shot in his butt once," Walton says. "It clearly shows he was shot by Jason Meade at the incident at his home. It was an execution, it was a murder."

Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz said in early December that Goodson's death was a homicide likely caused by multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, but at did not specify the number of wounds or direction of the bullets. The full autopsy would take 12-14 weeks to be released, she said.

Meade is on paid administrative leave from the Franklin County Sheriff's office as the investigation proceeds. Goodson's family has called for Meade to be fired and arrested with murder, but no charges have been announced in the case yet.

Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted that the release of Goodson's autopsy should be the final piece of evidence needed for a grand jury to take the case.

"It is time for a grand jury to examine the evidence and move toward justice and accountability in this tragic death," Ginther wrote.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.