COLUMBUS, Ohio — The mother of Casey Goodson Jr. spoke through tears Thursday – demanding answers from law enforcement and calling the shooting death of her son unjustified.
“We will never be the same. And we still don’t have answers as to why," Tamala Payne told reporters.
Her 23-year-old son Casey Goodson was killed on Dec. 4 after Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Jason Meade opened fire.
What’s unclear – because details of the investigation have not been released publicly - are the events that immediately preceded Deputy Meade's firing.
What we do know: U.S. Marshal’s task force was in a north Columbus neighborhood last Friday conducting a separate, unrelated investigation when they allege that Goodson drove by and flashed a gun.
Meade's attorney, Mark Collins, released a lengthy statement Thursday in which he said “Mr. Goodson pointed his gun at Deputy Meade. There has been confirmation that our client gave verbal commands for Mr. Goodson to drop the gun. There have been no eye witnesses to the shooting identified.”
10 Investigates reached back out to the law firm representing Goodson's family and asked for a response to Collins’ statement. We are waiting to hear back.
Law enforcement officials had previously stated that they recovered a weapon at the scene. Reporters attempted to ask Payne and her attorneys about that during Thursday morning’s news conference.
Attorney Sean Walton and Sarah Gelsomino – with the law firm Friedman and Gilbert – said the mere presence of a firearm does not mean the use of deadly force was justified.
“Commission of a crime, a traffic violation, a misdemeanor or even a felony does not justify the use of deadly force and to believe otherwise is wrong,” Gelsomimo said.
A preliminary autopsy report released Wednesday ruled Goodson’s death to be homicide – as opposed to natural or accidental – and said he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
It did not indicate from what direction the shots entered Goodson body.
Payne called the shooting unjustified and called for the arrest of Deputy Meade, who has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a law enforcement investigation into the shooting.
“Why…what he did he do to deserve this what did you do this for?” Payne said through tears.
Payne later called for justice in response to her son’s death.
Payne also described being called a “bitch” at the scene.
Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin tweeted out a statement Thursday saying that he would have his internal affairs unit looking into that to determine if such language was used.
On Wednesday, Baldwin had released a video statement calling for a “full and transparent investigation.” He also said he was praying for both Goodson’s family and Meade’s family because “there has been a rush to judgment by some” even before the investigation has been completed.
Attorneys for Goodson’s family have called that investigation tainted.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office had asked the Columbus Division of Police to investigate.
Columbus police accepted but then days later called on the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate. BCI later rejected that request saying the case was already days old.
Now the Columbus Division of Police along with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has joined the investigation into the deadly shooting.
Meade remains on paid administrative leave which is standard procedure.
Goodson Jr.'s mother and family attorneys held a virtual press conference on Thursday. You can watch it in the player below.