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


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.


not all officers at fault

The Boiling Springs officers and deputy were cleared and the articles have said all along that they reported things were ok. It was the South Port officer who came on the scene and made the remark of not having time for this and he is the one who shot the boy. Read your article again and comprehend what you are reading. Not all the officers were in the wrong, just the one.

The office who was "cleared"

The office who was "cleared" was not the one who did the shooting. Remember there were officers from 3 jurisdictions there. The shooter is still under investigation.

Slow down Tiffany

Lets get this straight: "You call your local law enforcement for help with a mentally ill 90lb child". Maybe, if this child wasn't an actual threat, the family would have taken him to the hospital, or called his Dr/Therapist. But no, they called 911. His family, who knew his issue inside and out, determined that he was past passive help and was being threatened. They called for real help.
Maybe, just maybe, you aught to let ALL the facts come out. Nobody said all the officers fired a weapon. Sounds like these two didn't, why do you think they should be considered guilty?
So quick to judge. I'm very curious to see the truth on this. Right now only a SMALL handful know it, you or I aren't them.

Keith Vidal

When will the people of this country wake up to to the militarization of the police. They are the modern day ss/gestapo, and act as judge jury and executioner. The number of people that they have killed in this country in the past 10 years is frightening.

This cop is guilty of premeditated murder.
Premeditated: 1st degree murder. The "fat cop" made a decision. He rationally considered the timing or method of taking the action he did. These are the elements of premeditation. He should be convicted and executed.

Please note: He is on PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE!!!!!!!! For killing a 90 pound adolescent, he is given a paid vacation.

No doubt, if he is indicted, he will use the "no fresh donuts" defense.

My heart goes out to you

My heart goes out to you all, you are in my thought's & prayer's. I hope justice is served & quickly. I don't know your family, my sister Sue York who rents a house from Keith's parents. I'm shocked that this could happen. May God give you all strength and help you through all of this. I'm really at a loss for words! And some of the comments being posted make me sick! May Keith RIP! God Bless you, Cindi Dulin

Lighten up Francis

How may law enforcement officers have been killed by criminals in the past 10 years, serving their communities, being there for you. This has NOTHING to do with "militarization" of police, how in the heck do you link that into this? That's just inflammatory.
Premeditated? Nope, second half thought you've had. Premeditated is "rationally considering the timing or method of doing so, in order to either increase the likelihood of success, or to evade detection or apprehension". You're just stirring stuff up.
Donuts? Really? There's your real point. You just don't like cops, and you'll find some way to put a dig out there. You're just a jerk using this kids death to voice your personal hatred. Scum.

the fat cop

This situation is horrible. Losing a child has got to be the worst thing in the world. To be there when it took place in such a way, unimaginable. I agree with everyone saying this could not be handled in 3 days. I also agree that there is injustice being done. I grieve and pray for those parents and all others involved. However "the fat cop" is not the shooter. Yes he should be charged with recklessness, aiding and abetting and whatever else necessary but making a joke about this is not funny (no fresh donut defense). No one knows the facts except the people who were there and to judge and convict is not my job or yours! Until the facts are there we should not be the judge or jury.


Let me give my 90 pound teen a screwdriver and have her come at you. .. see if you fear for your life. ..

Let me...

Let me shoot you with a taser and the have two officers hold you down and then shoot you because you are a "threat". You are making up "facts" that do ot exist. The kid did not lunge at anyone with the screwdriver. The screwdriver is one of those small electronics type not some huge flat head. Sometimes, as painful as it is, you have to admit a mistake was made. In this case, it appears that the mistake was rather intentional and resulted in murder.


That was a fast investigation. This occurred Sunday and the Boiling Springs Lake Police Dept. have already "completed" its investigation. I would like to know which Officer investigated it. Usually, Departments wait until the SBI, DA reports/investigation is concluded. And there is no way in you know what, that an Officer Involved Shooting investigation can be completed in 3 days!

Law enforcement around the

Law enforcement around the country is losing its faith anf trust in the Law Abiding Citizens of America. These sensless killing of inocent people has got to stop and happens too often, Then the officers are not punished as severly as they should be. Eventually the communities will turn against the LEO and then who will protect the officers. Seems like there are way too many bad apples to stop the rest from spoiling. Law Enforcement is trained to treat the civilians as the enemy. They do not protect and serve they command and conquer. There are many more civilians than police officers and eventually you will realize you are outnumbered by then it would probably be too late. How could a grown man not stop a very small 18 year old holding a screw driver??? Better yet three grown men!!!! If this was my son, the officer and myself would have had to accept the same fate because he would not have walked out of my house!

When a "innocent person", is

When a "innocent person", is out of control, with a deadly weapon in his hand, the threat can be just as fatal, as if it were a guilty person. My heart goes out to this young man, his family, and the officers who survived this horrible, tragic incident.

You mean the officer who was

You mean the officer who was just too lazy to drive to Lumberton for an involuntary commitment. Those take all day. Quicker to just shoot the mentally ill. Or let them hang themselves like Frink.