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

Tyler Goodson of the hit podcast "S-Town" stands at the grave in Green Pond, Alabama, of his late friend John B. McLemore,

Tyler Goodson of the hit podcast "S-Town" stands at the grave in Green Pond, Ala., of his late friend John B. McLemore, who is also featured in the show, on May 3, 2017. Goodson, a man featured in the podcast which chronicled events in a rural Alabama community, died after being shot by police during a Sunday standoff, Dec. 3, 2023, a state agency said.

Jay Reeves, AP Photo

This story was first published on December 4, 2023. It was updated on December 6, 2023 to correct when Joseph Tyler Goodson was declared dead.

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.


Kamala Harris leads Bloody Sunday memorial as marchers’ voices ring out for voting rights

Harris joined those gathered at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where voting rights activists were beaten back by law enforcement officers in 1965. The vice president praised the marchers' bravery for engaging in a defining moment of the civil rights struggle.

Alabama lawmakers pass protections for IVF clinics

In vitro fertilization dominated the conversation in Montgomery for another week in the wake of last month’s Alabama Supreme Court ruling that found frozen embryos are considered children.

Alabama lawmakers rush to get IVF services restarted

Facing public pressure to get IVF services resumed in the state, both chambers of the Alabama Legislature advanced legislation that would extend lawsuit protections to clinics.

Video shows person of interest in explosion outside Alabama attorney general’s office

The short security camera clip shared by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency shows a person strolling down a sidewalk, wearing a facemask, stocking cap, dark jacket and gloves. A statement from the agency described the person as someone who “may have information related to this crime.”

Here are the details on Tuesday’s proposed constitutional amendment

Voters heading to the polls Tuesday will see a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. Amendment 1 would remove a procedural step when considering local legislation.

From sea to table to sea: How recycled oyster shells are restoring the Alabama coast

Gulf South oyster reefs are fading because of the changing climate. Alabama hopes to reverse this by using recycled shells to grow oyster gardens.

More Arts and Culture Coverage