A week later, with protests looming, the US Marshal’s Office released a statement saying Tobin spoke prematurely and with insufficient information. Tobin’s statement didn’t address the factual assertions he had made after the shooting or provide any additional clarity about the interaction between Meade and Goodson before the deputy shot him.
“I previously provided commentary after arriving at the scene of the incident and made statements based on insufficient information that I received prior to the beginning of the official investigation into the shooting incident,” Tobin’s statement read. “It was premature for me to provide any opinion, conclusion, or other information about the facts of the incident. Other law enforcement agencies are engaged in an independent, thorough investigation of this incident.”
Tobin also sought to distance the federal law enforcement agency from the actions of the deputy, saying the “officer was acting on his own and in his independent authority” when he encountered and shot Goodson, a 23-year-old Black man who Columbus Police said was legally armed at the time. Goodson is an Ohio concealed carry permit holder.
The statement comes after Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a series of tweets Friday that he has heard “over and over that statements made last Friday indicated the outcome of the investigation was predetermined.”
“That is not the case,” Ginther wrote. “US Marshal Pete Tobin said it appeared the shooting was justified. He was wrong to make a statement, and his words were inappropriate, uninformed and damaged the public’s trust in the investigation.”
The mayor added local and federal authorities are “committed to following the evidence, getting to the truth and providing answers to Mr. Goodson’s family and the community.”
The day of the shooting, Tobin said the task force members were taking off their gear after an unsuccessful search when Goodson “was seen” driving down the street waving a gun, though he didn’t specify who saw Goodson waving a gun.
At some point later, Meade confronted Goodson and then shot him to death.
Goodson’s mother says he was shot as he tried entering his home after returning from the dentist and Subway, a quick stop he made to get sandwiches for his 5-year-old brother and 72-year-old grandmother. The two found Goodson lying on the ground, family attorney Sean Walton told CNN.
Attorneys for Goodson’s family said “neither the City of Columbus nor any other investigatory agency has alleged that Casey Goodson pointed a gun before Meade pulled the trigger.”
Police have said no other officers witnessed the shooting, there have been no civilian eyewitnesses identified, and there is no body camera footage because Franklin County Sheriff’s task force officers aren’t issued body cameras.