A North Carolina family is tragically left without their son thanks to the local police department. Keith Vidal, a schizophrenic 18-year old was having an attack on Sunday, and his parents called the police for help. But instead of the assistance they required, an officer showed up and shot and killed their son in plain sight.
In the midst of Vidal’s episode, he picked up a small screwdriver that his family said was not enough to cause any serious harm, but was enough to cause concern, so they sought after law enforcement to help control their son from any harm or danger.
According to a report that was released by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, three Boiling Spring Lakes Police officers arrived at the scene just before 12:30 PM, and were shortly joined by a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Deputy, despite reporting to Brunswick County Dispatchers that the situation was under control. That’s when things turned for the worst.
The official report states that the officer was defending himself against Vidal’s advances, but the 90-pound teen’s family tells an entirely different story.
According to Vidal’s stepfather, Mark Wilsey, the incident was just about over while his stepson was being restrained by two officers when the Southport cop arrived.
“Then all of a sudden, this Southport cop came, walked in the house [and said]: ‘I don’t have time for this. Tase him. Let’s get him out of here,” Wilsey recalled.
Moments later Vidal was tased by another officer.
“He hit the ground [and] this guy shot him,” Wilsey told NBC News, referring to the Southport officer.
When asked why the cop shot Vidal, he said, “Well, I’m protecting my officers,” according to Wilsey.
“There was no reason to shoot this kid,” Wilsey told WECT. “They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son.”
The incident is now under investigation and the Southport Police Department has suspended Detective Byron Vassey, a nine-year veteran, on paid leave, but refused to confirm if he was the officer who shot Vidal.
h/t: Think Progress