US Marshal says his initial comments calling Goodson’s shooting ‘justified’ were ‘premature’

Jason Meade, a deputy in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force, shot Goodson in Columbus on December 4. After the shooting, the US Marshal for that region, Peter Tobin, gave a report of the shooting at the scene and predicted that it would be considered justified.

A week later, with looming protests, the US Marshal’s office released a statement saying Tobin was speaking too early and with insufficient information. Tobin’s statement did not address the factual allegations he had made after the shooting and did not provide additional clarity on the interaction between Meade and Goodson before the deputy shot him.

“I previously commented after arriving at the scene of the incident and made statements based on insufficient information received prior to the official investigation into the shooting incident,” said Tobin’s statement. ‘It was premature for me to give an opinion, conclusion or other information about the facts of the incident. Other law enforcement agencies are involved in an independent, thorough investigation into this incident.

Tobin also tried to distance himself from the federal law enforcement agency from the deputy’s actions, saying that the “officer was acting alone and in his independent authority” when he met and shot Goodson, a 23-year-old black man Columbus Police said was on that. moment legally armed. Goodson is a holder of a hidden carrier permit in Ohio.

The statement comes after Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a series of tweets on Friday that he “ heard over and over again that statements made last Friday showed the outcome of the investigation was predetermined. ”

“That’s not the case,” Ginther wrote. US Marshal Pete Tobin said it appeared that the shooting was justified. He was wrong to make a statement, and his words were inappropriate, uninformed and hurt the public’s confidence in it. research. “

The mayor added that local and federal authorities are “committed to following up on the evidence, finding out the truth, and providing answers to Mr. Goodson’s family and the community.”

The shooting, the latest in a series of recent years involving young black men and teenagers in the city, is now the subject of a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Ohio and a separate investigation by Columbus Division of Police’s response team. for critical incidents.
Law enforcement officers from all involved agencies, at the federal, local, and state levels, have released very little information about the shooting. Two 911 calls released by Columbus police revealed a chaotic post-shooting scene, with Goodson’s relatives initially unsure if a police officer had shot him. Personnel files reviewed by CNN also revealed that Meade had previously been involved in a previous shooting in nearby Pike County, although he and other deputies in that shooting were acquitted by a grand jury and an internal investigation.
Casey Goodson's grandmother told operator, 'My grandson just got shot in the back'

On the day of the shooting, Tobin said the task force members took off their equipment after a failed search when Goodson was “ seen ” driving down the street with a gun, though he did not specify who saw Goodson waving a gun.

At one point, Meade confronted Goodson and then shot him.

Goodson’s mother says he was shot trying to enter his house after returning from the dentist and Subway, a short stop he made to get sandwiches for his 5-year-old brother and 72-year-old grandmother. The two found Goodson lying on the floor, family attorney Sean Walton told CNN.

Meade’s attorney, Mark Collins, says Goodson pointed a gun at the deputy sheriff prior to the shooting.

Lawyers for Goodson’s family said that “neither the City of Columbus nor any other investigative firm has claimed that Casey Goodson pointed a gun before Meade pulled the trigger.

Police have said no other officers witnessed the shooting, no citizen eyewitnesses have been identified, and no camera images of the body have been reported because the Franklin County Sheriff’s task force officers are not body cameras.

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