BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Southport Police detective turned himself in to deputies Tuesday night and then quickly bonded out, according to the Brunswick County Jail.
Monday night, a grand jury indicted Det. Bryon Vassey, who’s accused of fatally shooting Keith Vidal, 18, less than two minutes after arriving at the teen’s home Jan. 5.
Meanwhile, the family of the schizophrenic teen says they are finally starting to see some justice. They add that while they are happy there are charges against Vassey, they had hoped he would be charged with second degree murder not voluntary manslaughter. Vidal’s brother says the indictment lifts a big weight off the family’s shoulders.
“Naturally, any family member, or anybody that was close with him would want the worst of the worst,” Vidal’s brother Mark Wilsey, Jr., said. “I’m just glad that he got the charge that he got.”
District Attorney Jon David said he took the case before a grand jury because he believed Vassey committed a crime when he shot and killed Vidal at the teen’s Boiling Spring Lakes home.
“After I reviewed the file, I realized that a crime almost certainly occurred,” David said. “That this was quote unquote ‘a bad shoot.'”
Vidal’s family now hopes to create some good by changing the way police deal with the mentally ill.
“Every one of them should have to be trained to do their job with a mentally ill person, but they are not, and this is what’s happening,” Vidal’s father Mark Wilsey, Sr., said. “They’re getting beat, they’re getting shot, and it’s OK for them [law enforcement]. They sweep it under the rug. But, I don’t think this one’s getting swept under the rug.”
Mark Wilsey, Sr., says only 20 percent of officers are trained to deal with the mentally ill. It’s a figure he and his wife hope to change.
“If we can stop this from happening to one other family, we’ve done our job.”
Vassey bonded out of jail around 10:45 p.m. His attorney James Payne plans to either issue a statement or hold a news conference tomorrow.
Southport Police Chief Jerry Dove told WWAY no decisions will be made about Vassey’s employment until he meets with the DA. He said right now Vassey is still suspended with pay.