Grand jury indicts Southport cop in shooting death of teen

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Submitted: Tue, 02/04/2014 - 2:06am
Updated: Tue, 02/04/2014 - 4:30pm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County Grand Jury has indicted Southport police officer Bryon Vassey on voluntary manslaughter charges in the death of Keith Vidal, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Vidal was shot and killed in Boiling Spring Lakes Jan. 5.

A judge set bond for Vassey at $50,000 secured. Ofc. Vassey has until noon Wednesday to turn himself in.

We spoke with Vidal’s father on the phone after the ruling. Mark Wilsey told us that the family is pleased with the ruling, but had hoped Officer Vassey would be charged with murder.

Two other officers involved, Ofc. John Thomas of the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department and Dep. Samantha Lewis of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office, were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by an investigation by the SBI.

Vassey’s attorney has said Vidal was trying to stab one of the officers with a screwdriver during an altercation at his family’s home, and that Vassey acted appropriately. Records show Vassey shot Vidal less than two minutes after arriving at the home.

A news conference is scheduled at the DA’s Office tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the case.

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24 Comments on "Grand jury indicts Southport cop in shooting death of teen"

2015 years 8 months ago

Now if the father and mother would have pulled a weapon and shot the officer would that have been a justified shooting. That is how it should have went down!!

2015 years 8 months ago

The loss of this young man cannot be reversed but it certainly flags that better law enforcement and training is needed. When Ethan Saylor died under similar circumstances in Maryland last year the state took action at the governor’s request. Officers need to know more about people with disabilities and mental disorders to act appropriately, lives might be saved going forward:

2015 years 8 months ago

It’s sad that another young life is lost. I’m sure the boy’s parents constantly think of all the things that the future may have held for this young man. From the comments posted here and other sites similar to this, everyone admits that Law Enforcement has a difficult and dangerous job to do. Attacking a police officer with any type of weapon is a bad idea. I also understand that there was some mental illness involved here. But the truth is that an officer has to protect themselves too. Just like the parents of this boy did. They protected themselves by calling for help. It’s sad that it didn’t turn out the way they were hoping. Like we were all hoping! That boy was acting crazy enough to make his beloved parents call the police on him. The police came, tried to handle it, and eventually it was handled. Sadly, but handled. If the boy was attacking the parents and one of them shot him, would we be so quick to judge? Too bad that officers now have to go through the court system to show that they did their job. But that’s our society. I’m so sorry for the loss of this young man. I’m angry that there aren’t enough resources available to treat mental illness. But I’m also sorry that this officer has to go through this as well as live with the memory of this horrible day.

Old Barn
2015 years 8 months ago

This looks like a situation where a taser could have been used to stop the attack on the officer without having to shoot the fellow in his own home.

Dustin Adams
2015 years 8 months ago

Im sorry, but a 100lbs kid with a screwdriver vs 3 police officers and Vassey acted appropriately? Seriously?? What a crock.