Man featured in hit podcast 'S-Town' shot and killed by police during standoff, authorities say

WOODSTOCK, Ala. (AP) — A man featured in the hit podcast “S-Town" that chronicled events in a rural Alabama community was shot and killed by police during a weekend standoff in the town, authorities said.

Joseph Tyler Goodson, 32, of Woodstock, was shot by officers after he barricaded himself inside a home and “brandished a gun" at officers early Sunday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said. Bibb County Coroner Patrick Turner said that Goodson was pronounced “brain dead” Tuesday night at a hospital.

The agency's statement said the Woodstock Police Department had initially responded to a “call for service” early Sunday and the standoff ensued. Multiple law enforcement agencies converged on the home. The statement said Goodson was shot by officers during the confrontation and was subsequently pronounced dead.

The state agency did not describe what led to the initial call to the home.

“Police bout to shoot me down in my own yard,” a message posted early Sunday on Goodson's Facebook account read, news outlets, WIAT and reported.

The state agency is reviewing the shooting and will turn its findings over to the Bibb County district attorney.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a Monday press release that Goodson had been pronounced dead. However, the coroner said that two doctors at a hospital pronounced Goodson “brain dead” Tuesday night and he was being prepared for organ donation.

The 2017 podcast, which won a Peabody Award, told the story of an Alabama man named John B. McLemore, who died by suicide before the show came out. McLemore's use of an expletive to describe his hometown gives the podcast its abbreviated title.

“S-Town” begins telling the story of a reputed killing and also another death and winds up focusing on the eccentric McLemore, a restorer of antique clocks, and his tortured relationship with the town of Woodstock. Several people in his life were also featured, including Goodson.

“Because you know, I ain’t ever had no daddy worth a damn. He’s just about the only daddy I’ve got,” Goodson said of McLemore in the the third episode of the podcast.

Woodstock, with a population of about 1,500 people, is located about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southwest of the major city of Birmingham.

“I know that everyone wants answers and details, myself included,” Woodstock Mayor Jeff Dodson said in a statement Monday. “Tyler was well known and loved by myself, his family and this community. That love extends far beyond due to the S-Town podcast.

“Please remember at this time that he is so much more than a character to the fans who loved him. This young man was a father, son, brother and friend to many,” the mayor added.

Julie Synder, the executive producer of “S-Town” declined to immediately comment when reached by email.

Goodson in 2017 received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to burglary and theft charges accusing him of taking items from McLemore's property after his death. Goodson, before pleading guilty, had maintained he was retrieving items that belonged to him.

Goodson told The Associated Press in 2017 that the podcast had brought a deluge of attention on him and the town, but neither have done him any favors.

“It’s a sad story, especially if you’re part of it,” Goodson said.


This story has been updated to correct when Joseph Tyler Goodson was declared dead.