BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — Boiling Spring Lakes Police say an internal review has cleared Ofc. John Thomas of any wrongdoing in Sunday’s incident that ended with a teen dead. The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office says Dep. Samantha Lewis, who also responded, has been cleared following its internal review.
Meanwhile new information reveals the police officer who reportedly pulled the trigger was only on the scene for 70 seconds before shooting and killing Keith Vidal, 18.
“Could you send an officer over here. We have a son that has schizophrenia, and he’s not doing very good,” Mark Wilsey told a 911 operator Sunday.
Wilsey, Vidal’s father, called police Sunday afternoon for help with his son.
“He wants to fight his mother. He’s got a screwdriver,” Wilsey told the operator. “She’s scared to death of him.”
The event report shows the first Boiling Spring Lakes Police officer arrived at 1130 President Road at 12:34 p.m. followed by two more BSL officers and a Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputy. They reported a confrontation in the hallway but said everything was OK.
Records show Unit 104 from Southport arrived on scene at 12:48 p.m. Just 70 seconds later reports of shots fired come across emergency radio.
“I just heard gunshots,” someone reported.
Nearly two minutes passed before Unit 104 reported to dispatch defending his actions.
“I don’t know if you’ve been advised or not, but shots were fired,” the officer said. “I’ve had to defend myself against the subject.”
Seconds later the radio calls show that Vidal was taken into custody and being checked out by EMS.
Meanwhile an officer at the scene told dispatch, “We’re having problems with the family. They witnessed the shooting.”
Southport Police say Bryon Vassey is on paid administrative leave following the shooting. We went to his home today to try and speak with him. No one answered the door, but Boiling Spring Lakes Police arrived and asked us to leave.
Late this afternoon the attorney representing Thomas, who was cleared by the internal review, issued a statement. It said in part that Thomas and other responding officers followed the laws about using force.
The SBI continues to investigate.