LUMBERTON — Eight days after police Officer Jeremiah Goodson was shot and killed, he became a father for the second time.
Community members say the arrival of son Josiah Malachi only underscores the need to continue to support Lametria Goodson and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Jurnee Amiah.
‘They’re going to need help for a while,” said Jennifer Ellinger, receptionist at the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Ellinger, an Avon representative, has pledged to donate 45 percent of product sales — her cut after the company takes its share — to the Goodson family.
“I want to do something to help them, and I don’t have much, so hopefully this will bring them more than what I can do on my own,” she said.
Hers is one of many local efforts taking shape.
Melissa Kinlaw and Tammy Coleman, who work in the offices of Southeastern Regional Medical Center and whose husbands are employed at the Lumberton Police Department, have placed boxes in the Sherrif’s Office, Lumberton Police Department and Southeastern Lifestyle Fitness Center to collect donations of baby items for Josiah.
“I felt like out of respect we needed to continue showing our support to her,” Kinlaw said, adding that the two women have been spreading information about the collection through word of mouth, e-mail and on Facebook.
Amy Mercer, who along with her husband Jamie is selling decal stickers that honor Goodson, said on Thursday that the couple expects to raise $3,500 for Goodson’s family.
The stickers cost $4 each and can be purchased at the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office and several Lumberton businesses to include Pizza Hut, Bryant’s Gun and Pawn, Sassy Gals, the Stomped Grape — and the Xpress Depot and Dairy Queen on Fayetteville Road, where Goodson was shot.
“Our hopes are that everyone will purchase one and place it in the back window of their car,” Mercer said. “… I hope that someday when Officer Goodson’s children see these on vehicles, that they may smile and remember how loved and supported Officer Goodson was and still is in this town and county.”
A memorial fund has been created in Lametria Goodson’s name at State Employees Credit Union. Donations can be made by cash, check or money order at either the 4840 Fayetteville Road or the 2739 W. Fifth St. locations.
A post on Chick-fil-A of Lumberton’s Facebook page states that the company plans to dedicate its grand opening weekend, Aug. 24 through Aug. 26, to Goodson’s memory. Goodson’s uncle, Dewayne, and former Lumberton Police Chief Robert Grice have announced plans via Facebook to host a 5-kilometer run/walk in Goodson’s memory called “Walk out Your Dreams.” Money raised at the event will be put toward scholarships for students pursuing degrees in fields of public service.
Many tributes have also been posted on The Robesonian’s website. Hundreds of condolences for Goodson’s family can also be found at odmp.org, where memorials are posted for fallen officers. A Facebook group created after Goodson’s death titled “Rest In Peace ~~ Jeremiah Goodson” had more than 1,600 members as of this morning.
More than 3,000 people lined the streets or attended Goodson’s funeral on Tuesday. A horse-drawn wagon carrying his casket made its three-mile journey from Lumberton High School, where he was remembered during a ceremony in the gym and auditorium.
Goodson was shot four times and died of a wound to his chest. He was killed on July 17 at the Shell gas station and Xpress Depot on Fayetteville Road while serving a warrant on 27-year-old Marques Ramon Brown, who is charged with first-degree murder.