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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.

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103 Comments on "BSL officer, deputy cleared in incident that ended in teen’s death; 911, radio traffic provide more detail"

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2016 years 2 months ago

This has nothing to do with black and white. This has to do with circumstances. The incidents in Wilmington involved criminals who were refusing to respond to officer’s commands to stand down. Those officers had cause to believe that their lives could be in danger. In this case, the situation was under control, according to the reports the first two officers sent to dispatch. In this case, the dead kid was being held down by two other officers when the third one shot him. The circumstances are completely different.

2016 years 2 months ago

from what i have watched & read, the family called the police for assistance so they could get him to the hospital to adjust his meds. police had been to the residence before & knew the young man. the one that pulled the trigger, the southport cop, wasn’t even in his jurisdiction & from what all of the police blotter states, he wasn’t even there long enough to make an educated guess as to whether he should fire shots or not. from my understanding, he walked in & shot a 90 pound boy, who yes, had just turned 18 in… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

he was tazed and the 2 officers had him down and the other officer shot him while the other two had him down

mark carpenter
2016 years 2 months ago

What makes me sick is this choice making process has become justified in every city in the nation.

2016 years 2 months ago

I have to agree with you. I only hope the Police Chief in Boiling Springs trusted his Internal Affair Officer/Detective who made the final report. Usually, during an IA investigation within a Police Department, you have to interview all the witnesses, get statements, record those involved and then submit a “thorough” report to the Chief. It amazes me that this all occurred within not only three days since Sunday, and only 2 working days later. Trying to get all the witness’ together, the family, the Officers involved in a mere two days is amazing to me. It would had been… Read more »

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