Columbus City Council members announced Thursday that they would honor Casey Goodson Jr., the 23-year-old truck driver gunned down by a Franklin County Sheriff’s SWAT deputy last December, by naming a program after him. publicly funded commercial driver’s license training.
Board member Shayla Favor and board chair Shannon Hardin announced the city will contribute $ 200,000 to the Pathways to Purpose: Casey Goodson Jr. CDL Program.
“Goodson’s life mattered,” Favor said at the event at IMPACT Community Action headquarters on the South Side. “He had an incredibly bright future ahead of him as a truck driver,” noting that there is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers which is linked to shortages in the supply chain, so that some items are missing from store shelves.
The new program aims to provide individuals with commercial driver’s license training and other skills to help create a stable living environment through employment.
Part of the city’s funding will be used to cover the tuition fees of dozens of participants receiving training through Roads2Work, IMPACT’s CDL training program.
“All of our young people deserve an opportunity to acquire the skills and credentials necessary for a well-paying job,” Hardin said in a written statement. “This new program is another great option for Columbus residents looking for a career to support their families.”
Goodson was fatally shot in December 2020 outside his family home by Franklin County Sheriff’s SWAT deputy Jason Meade. Meade, 42, a 17-year veteran, left the sheriff’s office on disability retirement effective July 2.
Meade said Goodson brandished a gun at him after the deputy worked as part of an unsuccessful Federal Fugitive Task Force search for a nearby suspect. The deputy therefore followed him to his residence in the 3900 block of Estates Place in the Northland area.
Goodson’s family said Goodson had a concealed carry permit for his gun and was carrying sandwiches while unlocking a screen door to enter the house at the time he was shot.
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office report said Goodson was shot six times in the chest, including five in the back.
There was no video of the shooting with a body camera because Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies did not have them.
The Dispatch reported that Goodson shared photos of his truck trips with a former college teacher, including one taken on the day he graduated from trucking school in July 2019. Others that he has taken during the months he traveled across the country as a driver for Walmart, sending the former professor photos of mountains and sunsets that he said were too stunning not to be shared.
He told her in a post that he probably saw 44 states before he gave up road work in the spring of 2020 to help his family around the house.
Franklin County District Attorney Gary Tyack hired Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer as special prosecutors to help investigate and prosecute the fatal shooting. The US Department of Justice is also investigating the shooting for any potential violations of federal civil rights laws.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Casey Goodson Honored With Truck Driving Program Named After His Name