Shooting victim’s family issues statement as they prepare for funeral


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Submitted: Fri, 01/10/2014 - 8:17pm
Updated: Sat, 01/11/2014 - 6:39pm
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BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — Boiling Spring Lakes is a small town getting big coverage. It’s all because of the story of Keith Vidal.

Sunday a Southport officer shot the 18-year-old. The officer’s attorney says Vidal was trying to stab another officer with a screwdriver.

Now many involved just want to deal with what happened in private.

Joseph Guseman knew Vidal very well.

“I’ve known Keith since the 6th grade,” Guseman said. “I had a lot of classes with him. And then a lot of my friends knew him, so we started hanging out a lot.”

The 18-year-old also knew Vidal had schizophrenia.

“I know he had a lot of issues at the house, but it never showed up to me,” Guseman said.

So when he found out his 18-year-old friend had been shot by Southport Det. Bryon Vassey during an incident Sunday he says it really angered him. And now that the national media is also covering the story, Guseman says he’s sad.

“We’ve kind of been known for the wrong things, and it’s kind of a shame that we’re getting national news for something like this,” Guseman said.

As more and more news organizations pick up the story, Vassey’s attorney James Payne says his client was just doing his job during a highly-stressful incident.

“One cannot possibly comprehend all of the things that a law enforcement officer must take into account,” Payne told WWAY by phone last night. “We don’t know yet is what in fact caused the young man to react the way he did.”

Meanwhile Adrian Iapalucci, the attorney for Vidal’s family, issued a statement that reads in part, “At this time, the family wishes to focus on the wonderful memories that they have of Keith and that this is a time to celebrate his life… We believe that justice for keith will not be served by trying this case in the media.”

Guseman hopes the media can shed a more positive light on such a negative situation.

“We all look out for each other, and a lot of knew Keith and and a lot of knew his family and it’s just awful what happened,” Guseman said.

All parties involved say they have faith in the SBI and just want to let the agency do its investigation.

Meanwhile family and friends of Vidal are saying their final goodbyes. There was already one visitation for Vidal today. There will be another one tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at Brunswick Funeral Home on NC 211. Funeral services will be tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Southport.

Then next Saturday, Jan. 18, community members will hold a candlelight vigil from 6 to 8 p.m. on President Road in Boiling Spring Lakes near Vidal’s family’s home. Organizers say they’re not taking sides. They just want to pay tribute to his life. You will also be able to make donations to the family if you wish.

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41 Comments on "Shooting victim’s family issues statement as they prepare for funeral"


cops gone wild
2015 years 8 months ago

I’m sure Vassey was thinking the same thing 32 times is enough.

LIF really
2015 years 8 months ago

Is this all you have to do with your time is defend this kid and his family that has told about 5 different stories of what really happened. If he was not a threat why did the family call the police 32 times in the past 6 years. Why didn’t the family just take him to the hospital if he was so easy to calm down. They could have done the same thing they call 911 to do? I don’t think you are doing the family any justice. Any idiot should know if you charge a police officer with a loaded gun pointed at you, you are probably going to get shot. After 32 phone calls time was up.

LIF
2015 years 8 months ago

Are you freaking kidding me? He was an 18 year old that was suffering from an illness. His parents called police because they wanted help calming him down and needed help transporting him to the hospital so he could get the care that he needed. The safest way to transport a person who needs the kind of medical attention Keith needed is in ambulance. Hence the reason his parents called the police so the paramedics could take him to the hospital. He was not a rapist, a killer, a bank robber. He was a young man that suffered from a mental illness. He was not a criminal…you moron.

guest12
2015 years 8 months ago

For the time being we should ALL retract our comments and let this poor family grieve and reflect on the goodness of his life. Im sure with this post I will have shitty comments from both sides. I have read many comments from wect and wway that people should start taking out LEO and there families Im sure this is not what Keiths family would want.Think before you act.

LIF
2015 years 8 months ago

Read the last paragraph again. Community members are organizing the candlelight vigil not the family. The family is not looking for attention. They don’t needed what they need is justice.