Local/State

Slain Lumberton officer remembered

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friends, family and police officers from around the state are paying their final respects to Officer Jeremiah Goodson.

The 32-year-old Lumberton police officer was shot and killed last week while trying to serve a warrant.

Goodson may never have known how many lives he touched.

"He tried to get to know everybody and he helped everybody stay out of trouble," said former student Laykin Hendren. "He was a great person all the way around."

Laykin Hendren was one of hundreds of people who came to privately say thank you to Goodson for helping them feel safe.

"He was very protective of us ladies," said school cafeteria worker Helen Hendren. "He was always a gentleman. He always treated us very nice and anything that he could do to help he did."

Goodson was shot a killed July 17 at a Lumberton convenience store by a suspect he was trying to arrest. That suspect, Marques Brown, is now charged with first degree murder.

As he left Goodson's visitation Monday afternoon, Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt didn't mince words about his intentions.

"It's a horrible loss, a horrible tragedy," said Britt.

Britt told ABC11 that his office has already filed the paperwork associated with seeking the death penalty against Brown.

"He was someone who was trying to make a positive difference in this community," said Britt.

Lumberton Mayor Ray Pennington has proclaimed Tuesday an official day of mourning.

"He meant what was good about law enforcement and what's good about a small town," said Pennington. "He was active in church, in the school system, in the church choir -- just an all around great guy."

Law enforcement officers from around the state are also paying their respects.

"We lose any officer across the state, we've have lost a family member," said Greg Steffans with the State Highway Patrol. "Back in the day, we called it a brotherhood. Today we call it family, and it hurts."

Perhaps the biggest reason for the huge turnout Monday was a love for a fellow man, and a friend.

"Somebody you really love, you know," said friend Johnny Williams. "Once you get close to somebody, it's just hard to say goodbye to them. It's tough, man."

Goodson's funeral will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Lumberton High School. Afterwards, Goodson's body will be taken to the Gardens of Faith Cemetery on a horse drawn caisson.

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robeson county, local/state, greg barnes
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