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‘The wait is torture’: Family of Casey Goodson Jr. still searching for answers, 9 months after his death

Casey Goodson Jr. was shot and killed by former Franklin County sheriff's deputy Jason Meade in December 2020.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sharon Payne remembers Dec. 4, 2020 well. It was the day her 23-year-old grandson, Casey Goodson Jr., died on her kitchen floor after being shot by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy.

“I heard the gunshots,” Payne recalls. “I heard people screaming. Someone told me Casey was shot. So I ran into my room and called 911.”

This is the first time Sharon Payne has spoken publicly about what happened inside her North Linden home that day. She calls it a real-life nightmare that has left her entire family traumatized.

There are still questions about that day that have yet to be answered. This is what is known:

Jason Meade, the now-former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy, shot and killed Casey Goodson Jr. as Goodson entered the home. 

Goodson's family says he was carrying a bag of Subway sandwiches. His family also says Casey was a licensed gun holder and was carrying his gun that day.

An autopsy shows Meade shot Goodson six times in the back.

What is not known, is why.

“I saw Casey laying there with bullet holes in his back,” said Payne.

Jason Meade retired from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office July 2 on disability. His attorney, Mark Collins, has stated in the past that, “Mr. Goodson pointed his gun at Deputy Meade.”

Credit: Franklin County Sheriff's Office
Jason Meade

However, there is no body camera footage because the sheriff’s office does not have access to body cameras. There were also no witnesses to the shooting.

It’s been nearly nine months since Casey’s death and the investigation by state and federal prosecutors is ongoing. 

Meade’s attorney, Mark Collins, told 10TV via email that “it is not uncommon for these types of investigations to take time. We will continue to cooperate with the investigative authorities.”

But as the investigation drags on, so does the trauma among Casey’s family members.

“I just want this to end. I’ll never forget what happened because I saw him on the floor and I saw the bullet holes in his back and that’s something that I can’t get out of my head,” said Payne.

Goodson’s mother, Tamala, can’t go back inside her mother’s home after what happened there. She and her siblings want their mom to sell the house and move.

“The thought of him basically dying on the kitchen floor, it’s just, I can’t go in there,” Tamala said. “When I do I get sick.”

Whether Sharon stays or goes, the family’s priority is protecting Casey’s character and pressing for an indictment against the man who killed him.

“It’s just sickening, you know,” Tamala said. “Casey didn’t live the type of lifestyle that you would even worry about him being shot by anybody, let alone the police.”

Attorney Tim Merkle is one of two special prosecutors appointed to the case. He tells 10TV “the investigation is in progress. Everybody involved in the case is working diligently. It just takes time. Since multiple jurisdictions are involved, the investigation may take longer than expected.”

“The wait is torture,” said Tamala. 

For now, she continues to post pictures and stories on social media, hosting events in Goodson’s honor, starting a petition to demand justice, and being her son’s voice.

“Casey’s never been in trouble. Casey was a great kid in every aspect,” the grieving mother told 10TV. “It’s been my goal to show the world exactly who Casey was.”

“He didn’t deserve to be shot, period. Let alone killed. He’s not that kind of kid and I’m sure they’ve found that out by now,” said Sharon.

The attorney representing the family has created a website to keep people informed on what’s happening with the case and events planned in Casey’s honor.

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