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BSL officer, deputy cleared in incident that ended in teen's death; 911, radio traffic provide more detail

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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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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BSL shooting

RGM - how dare you presume to know what this family goes through with your sarcasm about "their well behaved son." The police are called to help de-escalate a situation. How is it that the other two officers who were there longer, didn't feel the need to use force. Who gave the police officer from another city the authority to act like he was in charge. A full investigation is warrented. RGM - don't judge anyone until you have walked in their shoes.

clueless

You are talking out of your rear end. This kid was no threat and the Southport detective made it clear what he intended to when he got there. Can you explain to me how a 90lb. kid who has two officers on him and taser probes still lodged in his skin presents a life threatening hazard to a third officer? No, you can't explain it because there was no threat to warrant shooting this kid. Defending this officer's actions is not helping police, if that is what you are trying to do. He murdered this kid...plain and simple. You can speculate about the family or anything you wish but, the facts are that there was no justifiable reason for is shooting. The officer who pulled the trigger needs to be arrested and soon!

You are completely insane.

You are completely insane. This post is riddled with inaccuracies about mental illness. This was not some punk 18 year-old that was throwing a temper tantrum. He had a mental illness and was in an irrational state. THIS DOES NOT MEAN HE WAS AGGRESSIVE. Families of the mentally ill often do have to involve police because there is literally NO OTHER OPTION in this area. You cannot cure schizophrenia through time outs and discipline, you flaming imbecile. Before you go lauding all that law enforcement officers have to face each morning, take a second to think about seeing your son murdered in front of you, then you can talk about perspective. I do not feel one ounce of pity for this officer. He should be locked up for life.

Good luck on this one!

Good luck on this one!

READ THE FULL STORY! Two of

READ THE FULL STORY! Two of the THREE officers involved were cleared, the BSL officer and the Brunswick Co sheriff deputy, both of whom were PRAISED by the family for how they were trying to help Keith Vidal. The Southport police officer who died the shot has not been cleared.

Not everything is a conspiracy, people.

Why don't you morons take

Why don't you morons take the time to read the story? It says the boiling spring lakes officer was cleared in the incident, not the others... YOU are what's wrong with America... Idiots

its a cover up. we never

its a cover up. we never get the real story

curious

While I don't side with the officer on this, I do think it's interesting that in the 911 call, the father says the teen has the screwdriver and that the mother is "scared to death of him." After the shooting, he becomes a helpless, tiny boy who couldn't hurt a fly. Obviously his family thought he was dangerous or they would have taken the screwdriver away and restrained him themselves. No, they call Law Enforcement.

Best comment I heard yet.....

Best comment I heard yet.....

PLEASE READ

I DONT KNOW HOW MUCH MORE CLEAR THIS ARTICLE CAN BE BUT EVERYONE LEAVING COMMENTS HAS NOT READ THIS OR FOLLOWED THIS INCIDENT. IF YOU READ EARLIER REPORTED STORIES ON THIS THE FAMILY STATED THAT THE BSL OFFICER AND DEPUTY HAD THEIR SON CALMED DOWN AND DID EVERYTHING THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO AND IT WASNT UNTIL THE SOUTHPORT COP SHOWED UP THINGS WENT BAD. SO WITH THAT SAID WHY SHOULDNT THE BSL OFFICER OR THE DEPUTY NOT BE CLEARED? THEY DID NOT SHOOT THE KID AND WERE DOING THEIR JOB TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY UNTIL THE SOUTHPORT COP SHOWED UP. THE OFFICER WHO SHOT IS NOT CLEARED OF ANYTHING AND I HAVE FULL FAITH HE WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ACTIONS.

Pay attention!!!!

Did you not all hear the family say the first two officers were great and did nothing wrong???? This press release is regarding the FIRST two responding officers, NOT the officer who shot. He is STILL under investigation and I can promise you all, there will NOT be a cover-up. The truth will come out. Most everyone can read between the lines to predict the results of the truth, that's the easy part. However, do not cast stones at the ones who serve honorably. When the results of the SBI investigation is released, I hope you all publicly apologize to the first two responding officers. As far as the remaining officer, vent all you want, that's acceptable and understandable. Just please listen to the family's interview that the first two were excellent in dealing with their son. And please pray for their healing and sorrow and that they find an acceptable and peaceful way to find justice in their son's death.

I'm a cop

I am a police officer. I know we should not take what is reported in the media as anything close to the facts. But why would any police officer believe a mentally challenged teenager with a screwdriver in his own home needs to be shot? More than that, two other officers were already on the scene. This is bad impatient insensitive police work. The DA won't be able to help this shooter. Any officer that thinks a person that they know to be a mental subject with a screw driver in his own home needs to be shot should turn in their badges now. I am ashamed.

You are right

You are right you are not a cop and never been in on something like this. The mentally ill is the most dangerous ones you can encounter. You do not know what is coming through their mind and one second they can act normal and the next they can cut your throat.

People, I am sure only 50% will like the outcome of any investigation. However, you need to stop the putdowns on the parents and the Cops. The Cops would not have been there if the parents didn’t feel their life’s were in danger. Don’t think that someone will not go from being calm too dangerous in a matter of seconds.

Yes, I have been there and seen it and it can happen with people that are normal and you think you can trust.

I'm a cop

Thank you and well said.

Don't think so

I don't think you are a Cop, because if you were you would know that what the news is reporting is not 100% true. If the kids was down with two officers on him do you think the other cop would have taken a shot? Remember the kid was only 90 pounds and two people on him, what would be the target?

Also, if you were a cop you would know how dangerous mentally ill person can be and you would wait till the investigation was over to make your remarks. It has already been shown the father has changed his story a couple of times.

I agree with you 100% your a

I agree with you 100% your a wise police officer. Thanks so much for being an honest and compassionate human. May God Bless you & keep you safe. Thanks for your service protecting the public where you serve! Your family should be proud of you! Bless you, Cindi

Thanks

I would like to thank you for your comment. This is just as you said - bad impatient insensitive police work. And, like you, I think the DA has an open and shut case. But, like my ex-Navy crypto Dad I am less likely to call the police for any reason. The reason is simple - I could get someone like you or I could get someone who is impatient and insensitive. Frankly and unfortunately, I have little chance making a convincing argument until something goes extremely wrong as in this case.

The article says that

The article says that officers John Thomas and Samantha Lewis have been cleared of any wrong doing.......not the the officer who pulled the trigger. That officer appears to still be under investigation.

It appears everything was

It appears everything was under control until the trigger man arrived. There is no reason why all officers, except the shooter, should not be cleared.

The statement says the BSL

The statement says the BSL police officers were cleared not the Southport officer who pulled the trigger and shot this poor boy. All statements thus far has said the other officers followed policy so this should not be surprising to anyone. I wanna see what the investigation into the officer who pulled the trigger leads to. That is who ended this poor child's life and he is the one who should be held accountable!!!

cops

This was not a BSL cop that pulled the trigger, it was a cop from Southport!

Teen

The article says the first officers had things under control and things were okay. Why WOULDN'T they be cleared? It sounds like they did their jobs correctly. It is the third officer who is the murderer.

Many Questions

This story leaves more questions than answers.

Why was Southport police involved? Was the Southport officer within his jurisdiction when he fired?

Considering the amount of time between the BSL police arriving and the Southport officer arriving, why were BSL police able to handle the situation without gunfire? What happened in just 70 seconds that changed the situation into one that required deadly force?

Plus, the big question, is this another cover-up in Brunswick County that is along the lines with the killing of the officer on Bald Head Island many years ago.

I sincerely hope the SBI can get to a legitimate, honest, unbiased conclusion.

Vassey

In case you haven't put 2 and 2 together yet, the apparent shooting officer lives in BSL. He has a Southport address that is in BSL.
The article doesn't say if he was on duty or not at the time of the shooting. Maybe he was on the way home from work when he heard of the incident and didn't have time for that, in which case he should have continued home and not stopped in to shoot the 'victim.'
He lives just north of the lake off 87.

yes ..... the simple answer!

the Southport officer was there because the BSL officers had called for backup!
There are mutual aid agreements between municipality's
so technically, yes he had

only half of the story

I could be wrong but, wasn't the officer that fired a southport LEO? All that has been established with this report so far is that the other LEOs on scene did not violate any laws. This speaks nothing of the Southport Officer who allegedly fired the shots. I assume that will be released soon as well.... Right?

unbelievable!

unbelievable!

DISGUSTING

This is extremely disturbing to say the least. You call your local law enforcement for help with a mentally ill 90lb child and they end up shooting your child and is now being cleared of wrong doing? UNBELIEVABLE- completely lost for words over this story !!!!!! It will be a cold day in hell before I ever involve the law enforcement in this area in anything b/c we can see what the outcome is- they don't have time for us. They will cover up and protect themselves only! That's pretty sad you can't even trust who is suppose to protect and serve. "They dont' have time for this," quote on quote as this officer said before shooting this child after only being on the scene for 70 seconds. So what exactly does the law enforcement have time for? Obviously not to try and help, only hurt and cover up- SICK, absolutely sickening! I know the outcome would have been different if it was his child that got shot... so disgusting

Pay Attention Readers!!

People REALLY need to comprehend what they read. Don't comment if you don't even know what you're talking about. SMFH

If you go back and read the

If you go back and read the original story, officer John Thomas was NOT the one who did the shooting. He is the one that went to HELP with Keith, as he had before that day. Before you slam, know all the facts. The internal investigation is still underway.