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DOJ, FBI Join Probe Into Casey Goodson's Shooting Death

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There was a shooting in Columbus, Ohio, last week. A white sheriff's deputy shot a Black resident outside the man's house. The FBI and the Department of Justice have now taken over the investigation. Reporter Paige Pfleger from member station WOSU reports.

PAIGE PFLEGER, BYLINE: Twenty-three-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. was on his way home from the dentist and had just picked up sandwiches for his family. He was the oldest of 10 children and was working at the Gap to help support the family. Sheriff's deputies were in his neighborhood wrapping up an unsuccessful search for a suspect when they saw Goodson. U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin was there.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PETER TOBIN: He was seen driving down the street waving a gun. That's when the deputy - at some point after that, he confronted him. And it went badly.

PFLEGER: Tobin says Deputy Jason Meade confronted Goodson. No officers or witnesses have come forward to say they saw what happened next. Meade wasn't equipped with a body camera. Meade shot Goodson near the side door of his house. His 5-year-old brother and his grandmother heard the shots and found him lying in a pool of blood.

Goodson was not the suspect the deputies were searching for, and his family disputes the marshal's narrative that he waved a gun. Goodson had a legal concealed carry license, and the family says he was a stickler about gun safety. Sarah Gelsomino is one of the lawyers representing the family.

SARAH GELSOMINO: If we're going to have - be in an open carry state, if we're going to allow concealed weapons, then police officers need to know how to handle them. And simply seeing a Black man with a gun is not justification to kill him.

PFLEGER: Columbus police investigated last Friday's shooting, but it wasn't until Monday that they contacted the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation for help. And in an unusual move, the state declined to get involved, saying, quote, "Three days after the crime scene has been dismantled and the witnesses have all dispersed does not work." BCI says it's rare for local police to wait days before seeking help. U.S. Attorney David DeVillers determined the case warrants federal involvement. The FBI and the Justice Department will now lead the investigation.

For NPR News, I'm Paige Pfleger in Columbus.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMON TOBIN'S "EASY MUFFIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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