Mounted Policeman Robert H. Goodson

Mounted Policeman Robert H. Goodson

Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Tuesday, May 26, 1891

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Robert H. Goodson

Mounted Officer Robert H. Goodson was accidentally shot and killed as he conversed with fellow officers outside of the police stables, on Pryor Street, fifteen minutes before shift change. Another officer, who was seated in an alley across the street, was attempting to clean a 38-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol he had recently purchased at an auction. The gun was rusty, and, as the officer attempted to force the hammer back, the gun slipped from his hands and discharged. The shot hit the stone in the alley and ricocheted up.

Just seconds before the gun fired, Officer Goodson had been preparing to cross the street to go to the station when a fellow officer called him back. As Officer Goodson turned to respond to the officer and lifted his arm to lean against the awning post, the misfired bullet struck in his exposed ribs, severing an artery. Officer Goodson stayed conscious long enough to ask his fellow officers to care for his wife and children. He succumbed to his injuries four hours later.

Officer Goodson had served as an Atlanta police officer for over 10 years and had been on the mounted squad for the last four years of his career. He was survived by his wife, three children, and two brothers.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Goodson,
On today, the 130th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Atlanta.


United States Border Patrol

May 26, 2021

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