LUMBERTON — A 27-year-old Lumberton man is in jail after being charged with the Tuesday morning murder of an off-duty Lumberton police officer.
Marques Ramon Brown, who also goes by the first name of Marcus, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 33-year-old Master Police Officer Jeremiah Goodson. Brown has listed addresses at 207 Laurel Court and 409 Beech Court, both in Turner Terrace on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Goodson is the first Lumberton police officer to be killed while on duty in 76 years.
Brown was brought to the Robeson County Courthouse by agents of the State Bureau of Investigation at about 7 p.m.Tuesday, according to jail records. He is now at the Cumberland County jail.
Goodson was shot at about 11 a.m. at the Xpress Depot, at 5030 Fayetteville Road, while serving a warrant for Brown’s arrest. Goodson, who was off-duty, had recognized Brown, who was sitting in a vehicle, and called for backup. As Goodson and the assisting officer approached the vehicle, Brown opened fire, hitting Goodson more than once. It is unclear how many times Goodson was hit.
The assisting officer held Brown at gunpoint until another officer arrived and he was taken in custody, according to police Capt. Johnny Barnes
Brown was wanted for two charges of failure to appear in court — one for possession of a firearm by a felon and one for carrying a concealed weapon.
Brown also had outstanding warrants in Columbus County for receiving stolen property and obstructing an officer. According to the Columbus County clerk of court, charges are pending for a 2011 assault on a government official.
Barnes said the investigation has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation, and he expected additional charges.
Brown’s incarceration history dates back to 2003 at the Robeson County jail and includes time served for several probation violations and for possession of stolen goods, breaking and entering with larceny, possession of a firearm by a felon, contempt of court, breaking into a motor vehicle and larceny of a motor vehicle.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the site of the murder, Chief Mike McNeill said he wasn’t ready to disclose details regarding the shooting. McNeill could not be reached this morning.
“All I can tell you right now is that, we did have an officer shot and killed, Officer Jeremiah Goodson,” McNeill said. “I cannot even tell you about the further investigation right now because the SBI is leading this investigation with the Lumberton Police Department. You see us still here; we’re going to support them in any way we can on getting down to the full investigation of this officer getting shot.”
Goodson’s wife is pregnant with their second child.
“She’s holding on. The family’s holding good,” McNeill said.
McNeill said that an officer’s job doesn’t stop when he goes off duty.
“When you become a police officer, you’re 24/7,” he said. “We have things in place that when you do happen to see something outside the time that you’re working, we do have things in place that you call other officers.
Goodson had been employed with the Lumberton Police Department since June 14, 2006, according to James Moore, Human Resources director for the city. He drove patrol car No. 45. Goodson worked as a resource officer for Lumberton High School while serving in the Juvenile Division in 2010.
Many tributes were being posted on Facebook on Tuesday and early today. Condolences for Goodson’s family can also be found at odmp.org, where memorials are posted for fallen officers.
According to the website, the last time a Lumberton police officer was killed was on Nov. 18, 1936, when Chief Vance R. McGill was accidentally shot and killed when a pistol he was examining discharged. The last Robeson County lawman to die in the line of duty was Arthur Oxendine, a sheriff’s detective who died in a wreck on Oct. 1, 1993.
Karen Higley, head of the community watch for East Lumberton, is asking that American flags fly at half mast until Goodson’s funeral.