Lumberton, N.C. — Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said Wednesday that he plans to seek the death penalty against a man charged in the shooting death of a Lumberton police officer.
Marques Ramon Brown, 27, is charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond in the Cumberland County jail for safekeeping, but he made a brief court appearance via video in Lumberton on Wednesday morning.
Master Patrol Officer Jeremiah Montgomery Goodson Jr., 32, was shot Tuesday morning in front of Xpress Depot, a combination Dairy Queen and Shell gas station at 5030 Fayetteville Road in Lumberton, which is a couple of blocks from Exit 22 off Interstate 95.
Police said Goodson, who was off duty, spotted someone who had outstanding warrants and called on-duty officers for help. As Officer Ronnie Hayes was pulling into the parking lot in his patrol car, Goodson got out of his vehicle and approached the wanted man.
The man then opened fire on Goodson, and Hayes took the gunman into custody, police said.
Goodson was pronounced dead at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, marking the first time in more than 70 years that a Lumberton police officer had been killed while doing his job.
Brown was wanted on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and failure to appear in court, police said.
He has a criminal record dating to 2004, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records. He was released from prison in 2007 after serving two years and seven months for a felony breaking and entering conviction, and he also has been convicted of larceny, possession of stolen goods, receiving and possessing a firearm and misdemeanor breaking and entering, according to department records.
During the court hearing Wednesday, Brown asked for a court-appointed attorney. Several Lumberton police officers wore black bands on their badges as they watched the proceeding.
"(There's) a lot of emotion," Sgt. Don Ward said of seeing Brown in court. "Jeremiah was a very good person. He was a dedicated officer. He was a dedicated husband. He was definitely a family man, and he was dedicated to his department."
Goodson had been with the Lumberton Police Department for about six years, was a member of the gang unit and worked at Lumberton High School as a school resource officer, officials said.
Goodson is survived by a wife, Lametria, and 2-year-old daughter, and his wife is expecting the couple's second child any day now. Police Chief Michael McNeill said he visited with Lametria Goodson Tuesday night and that she was dealing with her husband's death as best she could.
"She's in good spirits. Her mother is in good spirits. I asked her about the baby and herself, and she said they both are doing fine," McNeill said. "I told them last night, I said, 'Listen, we're going to be with you now and then we're going t be with you throughout this whole process and then after this process because that is our family.'"