make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Attorney: Shot teen was trying to stab police officer


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The attorney representing a Southport Police officer who reportedly shot and killed a schizophrenic teen Sunday now says his client fired to protect another officer. But that story conflicts with what the officer himself said minutes after the shooting.

In an interview with CNN that aired this evening, attorney James Payne says Det. Bryon Vassey shot Keith Vidal, 18, because Vidal was not subdued even after being tased and restrained by Boiling Spring Lakes Ofc. John Thomas and Brunswick County Sheriff's Dep. Samantha Lewis. Instead, Payne says Vidal was using a screwdriver he was holding to try to stab one of the officers.

"In the abdomen area," Payne told CNN reporter David Mattingly on Thursday's edition of "Erin Burnett OutFront." "Apparently he had not (caused any injury). Again, apparently the officer had a bulletproof vest."

But that's not what Vassey himself reported Sunday afternoon.

"I don't know if you've been advised or not, but shots fired," Vassey radioed to a dispatcher moments after the shooting. "I've had to defend myself against the subject."

Payne told WWAY Thursday evening via telephone that there are three things to remember when police immediately call dispatch following an incident.

First, Payne explained that the purpose of the call was to get dispatch alerted that somebody was down and needed emergency assistance.

Second, he said the officer is having to report what occurred while adrenaline is extremely high.

Finally, police officers look at each other as brother and sister and that an attack against one is an attack against themselves.

Payne admitted in the CNN interview that the other officer did not yell for help or ask for anyone to shoot Vidal. Instead, Vassey apparently made the decision to shoot on his own.

"The stabbing motion traveled to an exposed part of the down officer," Payne said. "(Vidal) was not being subdued."

Payne said Vassey's decision was the right one.

Vidal's family, who has said Vassey murdered the 90-pound teen, referred us to an attorney for comment today, but we did not hear back.

Records show Vassey was the last officer to respond to Vidal's family's home in Boiling Spring Lakes Sunday afternoon and that 70 seconds after the detective arrived, Vidal had been shot.

Vassey is on administrative leave as the SBI investigates what happened. Thomas and Lewis have been cleared of any wrong doing through internal reviews by their respective agencies and have returned to duty.

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.


These little counties are

These little counties are becoming like Nazi Germany! A badge or political appointment means you have a free reign of terror!!


Police officers are tested regularly for drugs without any prior knowledge. They pull them and a supervisor takes them so from the time they know they are not alone. Not only are they drug test regularly and randomly (more than ONCE a year) they also must keep a log for every time they take ANY medication down to a Tylenol. So there are very strict guidelines on what they can do more than any other job. I am sure in your job you are free to take cold medicine or a Tylenol for a headache without letting your supervisor know. Law Enforcement officers carry more certification and have more restrictions than the public has any idea. They are certified in ever area they enforce and must be recertified every year in certain fields. Their certifications are not one time certifications that are good for their whole career as with some. If they do not pass these certifications they are taken off the road until they do remediation and score what is expected.

I have no doubt that the men

I have no doubt that the men and women who have made it thru a police academy are capable of being able to study until they "score what is expected". But what I have been reading about and watching on TV are incidents where officers respond out of emotion and anger instead of common sense. What I have been seeing are annoyed and angry men in a uniforms.


So all they are required to do ShoulD automatically give them the right to shoot a mentally ill teenager and change their story about why they did it. No I think not officer should be required to do everything you said but they should also be required to use common sense and not abuse their authority but most importantly they should not be above the law they are sworn to protect.

And? This has to do with

And? This has to do with what exactly?

Why did his story change?

When the story first broke it was reported that the boy had calmed down and had agreed to go peacefully with the officers to get help and was in the process of handing over the screwdriver to his father. Then enters King Kong who immediately orders him tased which sets his body into spasms so KK pulls out his "tool" and shoots him saying he was defending himself, then changes that story to he was trying to stab one of the officers with the screwdriver while spasming from the tasers so he had to shoot him. And of course he couldn't just shoot the hand with the screwdriver so he killed him. Huh?! Who IS this hot dog and who called him in to begin with? And then who made him boss? Seems to me this is another Zimmerman hot head who borders on criminally insane. I also believe he blew out the ear drums of the officers he was trying to "protect". What a butthole! If he gets off there's going to be hell to pay. People are fed up with the Gestapo attitude of late. Jobs can be lost just as easily as they were found, from the recruits all the way up to the Commissioners. This is America, it's not going to happen here.


Police Reject Candidate for Being Too Intelligent

Posted on February 29, 2008 by fortruthandfreedom

This is not the first time I’ve seen a story like this, it is apparently typical hiring policy for police in many areas. Let’s face it, they want a dumbed-down police force that’s just smart enough to follow orders. We just can’t have our police thinking too much or questioning procedure!

This story says that the average I.Q. for a cop is 104, if that is accurate it means there are thousands of police with I.Q.’s in the 80-100 range. Is it any surprise then that incidents of police brutality and abuses upon citizens (as well as the Constitution) are now so frequent?

From Ananova:

A US man has been rejected in his bid to become a police officer for scoring too high on an intelligence test.

Robert Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took an exam to join the New London police, in Connecticut, in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125.

But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

Mr Jordan launched a federal lawsuit against the city, but lost.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Mr Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

He said: “This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class. I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else.”

He said he does not plan to take any further legal action and has worked as a prison guard since he took the test.

The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average

Blood work and other

Blood work and other chemical testing could take up to 3 to 6 mos. Not covering up this isn't the only blood work to be done. SBI does it for the whole state of North Carolina.



What's the hold up?

Come on ,what's the SBI doing it's been almost a week sense this tragic event happened.All the evidence(dispatch calls,911 call,eye witnesses)has been available from the beginning,its not like they had to go out and uncover it.It is not their job to determine guilt or innocence that woukd be a juries job. They only need enough evidence at this point to charge him or not.So what's the hold up
Mr. Cooper.

They are waiting

for the heat to die down so they can say the pig was justified in shooting him. Seen it too many time before. If they don't clear him they will setup the grand jury to do it.
These cops all over the country are walking a thin line one day their killing innocent citizens will cross the line and they will become fair can only push people so far. The only reason they can have the power they do is because we allow it.
They also need to be drug tested randomly and I don't mean only one a year, on a rotating basis monthly so they will never know when. Steroid rage ????


You finally posted something that makes sense. Not all the crap you babbled about in the beginning of your post, but the part about drug testing.


cop arrives radios HQ he is at scene *time logged* exit car approach scene minimum 15 seconds go by. (We are now down to 55 seconds left till kill shot) Enters and disrupts the situation and Kieth gets aggravated. from just running through the possible scenarios he spent 20 seconds assessing the situation but more than likely less. then apparently proceeded to taser him. And that SUPPOSEDLY did not work so he unholsters his weapon fires around the officers actually there trying to help then calls in to report his heroic actions. What would the proper amount of time estimate be between the killing and calling on the radio? I would ASSUME, having such a spotless record he probably took some time to process what just happened then secured his weapon gathered his thoughts then called it in. *Time logged* 70 SECONDS. Basically walked through the door not knowing
what was going on and tasered Kieth then shot him. 70 SECONDS. The time is validated on both sides. That alone should be enough to put this guy away for murder. I am not sure he did the tasering but there have been some posts that claim he did and some claim he walked in and ordered tasering be done. Anyway he should be a huge embarrassment to the other officers that were there before hand.

I don't know how many of the

I don't know how many of the officers involved engaged their tasers, but a statement Sheriff Ingram posted on Facebook states that the deputy involved did engage hers.

I have seen it all, I was an

I have seen it all, I was an officer of brunswick county, and there are alot of things that happen behind the doors that the public does not see. The first problem is there are too many white officers. The beat people up and get away with it because the blue code in law is always to protect the white code.


TASER® devices utilize "electro-muscular disruption (EMD)" technology. EMD weapons use a powerful 50,000 volt electrical signal to completely override the central nervous system and directly control all muscles. This EMD effect causes an uncontrollable contraction of the muscle tissue, allowing the TASER® device to physically debilitate a target regardless of pain tolerance or mental focus. TASER® devices are EMD weapons, specifically designed to stop even the most elite, aggressive, and focused combatants. Rather than simply interfering with communication between the brain and muscles, TASER® EMD systems directly tell the muscles what to do, resulting in muscle spasms, until the target is in the fetal position on the ground. The TASER® device provides for maximum safety for both the user and the assailant by bringing dangerous situations quickly under control before force escalates to lethal levels. There have been hundreds of reports that TASER® devices disabled attackers and probably saved the owner's life.

i got it

I got it, lets send the cop who killed this 18 year old over to this lawyer's house in the middle of a crisis and then let us publicly humiliate his family....we need to hold our cops to a higher standard..we need cops with an IQ of some kind other then this.. Is our criminal justice system working...let me count all the slimy lawyers who extort money from families like this. Due not cheap..and it often still does not come....when you pay a slime lawyer. The country is running backwards..not forward. We can't keep turning our back on the mentally ill, they need our help.

This is a sad tragedy. These

This is a sad tragedy. These officers were not rained to deal with mentally ill and should not of been dispatched to the scene. This happenes with the mentally ill " A Thousand" times a day with no life loss. Officers should not be allowed to be judge and jury! The definition and law od defending themself is only protecting the officers from not being charged with murder. Anyone else in the country would be locked up already with a murder charge. He has a badge so its OK?? Is every parent of a mentally ill child supposed to pick up a gun when there child is out of control? There is a reason our judical system doesnt charge and try the mentally ill, Because they have no jurisdiction over them so why should this officer? Many people lose there lifes to officers involved shooting that could be prevented and lives could be saved. Death should be a VERY LAST RESORT.Did you even try to grab the screw driver. How could three officers not get a screwdriver out of his hand. I used to do it about ten times a day to my brother who was twice my size (way over 100pds) and has really tried to hurt me before. I guess i should of just shot him!? Your a trained officers and do your job and protect the Public!!! LEO are loosing faith with the public. This officer would have not walked out of my house in this situation and i probably wouldn't have either!

Your assumption that the

Your assumption that the officers were not trained, is erroneous. The actual shooter doesn't sound like he was trained to deal with a mentally ill person. Either that, or he just didn't want to deal with it. According to the dispatch records reported in the media, the first officer arrived fourteen minutes before the shooter. The second officer arrived within that fourteen minute time frame. Before the third officer arrived, one or both of the other officers had advised dispatch that the situation was under control. When the Southport officer arrived, the situation escalated again. You could be right in that the one officer was not trained, I don't know. But based on what the media has reported the other two were able to control the situation before Hopalong Cassidy hopped along.

Bryon Vassey is a coward.

Bryon Vassey ... what a coward.

The should lock him down and let him explain on the yard why he is such a punk.

Trial by Jury please!!!

There are many cases where the cops get it wrong,. It appears to me that this cop endangered his fellow officers and the step father and killed a mentally ill 90 pound boy. Whether it was justified or not will be on how honest the Brunswick County Sheriff Deputy is.
Just Google Cops charged with murder and look at all that pops up!!! Eye opener
The SIU charged the cop with 2nd degree murder!!! Good morning JUSTICE,” Sarah Yatim said.
The Yatim family said in a statement that it was “relieved” the SIU had recommended charges against Forcillo.“Over 20 uniformed police officers were present and no one stepped forward to stop the gun shots or offer any mediation. Moving forward we expect complete transparency and accountability.

The statement said officers approached Ferrell to investigate the original call. Ferrell ran toward the officers and one officer fired a taser, however it failed to discharge, police said.
Ferrell continued to run toward police when Officer Randall Kerrick, 27, fired his weapon, hitting Ferrell several times, according to WSOC. Ferrell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
I for one trust the BCSO office but, I believe in checks and balances, without good measures we end up with a system so protective of our regulators that any force used is justifiable. My son is in the 4th grade he is 5 feet tall and ways 80lbs if he has a pencil in his hand and is acting up can they shoot him after he is electrocuted.
When I was growing up I witnessed several teachers that would take on students who were very violent and no one got shot.
I just think he should be charged and then a trial by his piers should decide, not some outside regulatory agency in the same business.
Remember if your neighbor has a 6 inch screwdriver and two other neighbors have electrocuted him, his father is between you and him and you reach around and shoot him its okkkkkkkkk!!!!
I’m just saying he should be charged, if for no other reason so that the participants have to testify under Oath and before 12 people, that way confidence in the system is restored.

Whats the big deal?

The parents called the police and they arrived and handled the situation. The kid was obviously dangerous or the parents wouldnt have called police, they would have called a therapist, or mentor, or bowling alley to book some quality time. They called police and the police handled it. Dont attack cops and they wont shoot you. Its not complicated.

big deal

Hey einstein you say don't attack cops and they wont shoot you.You must
have had a lack of donuts or a brain malfunction,remember the strickland kid in wilmington where your buddies shot thru the door and shot the dog(he must have wanted the donut they had) and shot the kid.
They didn't find anything but the ps-4 and a girl.So yes it is complicated. Oh by the way i know all that sugar as effected your thinking,so i'll give ya a little tid bit, his dad was one of the most prominent trial lawyers in raleigh.So guess how it ended and yes it is a big deal.And lay off the donuts

The cops were called because

The cops were called because there are literally NO OTHER OPTIONS for the mentally ill in this area. I am a mental health professional, so I know. The fact that you think a call to the cops unequivocally means that Vassey had a right to shoot shows either stupidity or naiveté on your part, sir.

Here's the "Big Deal"

Ummm... I believe that you are part of the problem. A LEO, possibly? Not sure how you can call an 80 pound teen with a screwdriver a valid target for lethal force. Especially when he is on the ground with two officers in battle dress on top of him. Police are becomming more and more miltiarized in equipment and attitude. That is not their place.

The big deal is a child is

The big deal is a child is dead that probably shouldn't be! WOW


That child is 18 and if he shot his mother or police officer would have been charged as an adult. He is a young man not a child.


A YOUNG MAN is dead who shouldn't be. Does that work better for you??

Excuse Me??

No it really doesn't matter to me what you call him. I'm sure he did not refer to himself as a child. I was simply stating he is considered a young man at 18 years of age. And are you so sure he shouldn't be. Were you there and witness the whole incident? No one has the right to be threaten whether it be the young man, the mother, or the officer.

Was the Southport Detective

Was the Southport Detective called to the scene as part of a mutual aid request or did he show up because he was sitting at home (he lives in BSL) in his pajamas drinking PBR and decided he was needed. Was a drug and alcohol test done on the officer? Was he even on duty at the time? Granted the family presents itself as a bit different than most families, their son did not deserve to die at the hands of some hot head. Chief Dove said his internal investigation will not be completed until the SBI completes their investigation... I can not imagine why... until then, the PBA lawyer is going to maneuver and posture his clients defense.