On Sunday afternoon, North Carolina police allegedly shot and killed a teen suffering a schizophrenic episode after his family members had called 911 for emergency assistance. The 90-lb., 18-year-old Keith Vidal had apparently picked up a screwdriver and was been threatening his mother when his parents called for support to calm him down. Although the screwdriver was apparently too small to hurt anyone, Vidal's stepfather Mike Wilsey, Sr. claims that officers used a stun gun on Vidal before one of the officers then allegedly fired a gunshot, killing Vidal. Now, North Carolina prosecutors are working to answer just what happened.
"Keith was not threatening anybody," Wilsey said. "Keith did not want any part of it. He was having a bad day. Then all of a sudden, the Southport cop came, walked in the house. 'I don't have time for this,' tazed him, 'Let's get him out of there,' tazed him, he hit the ground, this guy shot him ... He reached right up, shot this kid point-blank, with all intent to kill. He just murdered him, flat-out."
When Mike asked the officer why he'd shot his son, the policeman responded that he was protecting his fellow officers.
Three law enforcement agencies wound up responding to the call. It was when the third arrived that Vidal reportedly became agitated and the confrontation escalated. Southport officer Byron Vassey, a nine-year veteran of the force, was placed on leave that day.
Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David said that the State Bureau of Investigation has been called in as standard procedure and that he is working on the "process" of bringing about justice. David says he will meet with the family and work with them to "go wherever the truth is in this case." At a news conference yesterday regarding the incident, the Wilsey family showed up carrying pictures of their son, despite not having an invitation.
"Why, why did this child have to die?" Vidal's mother, Mary Wilsey said. "We want justice for my son's death. This officer who shot my son needs to be behind bars. He needs to — to die, the way my son died."
"There was no reason to shoot this kid," Mike said yesterday. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."
(Image: Scott Davidson/Flickr )