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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.

Comment on this Story

  • tke1

    The family is not looking for justice. Their first desire is for revenge. This desire is being fueled and fanned by the anti-law enforcement attitudes of that area. The court system will deal out the justice and the officer, if cleared by the court, will have no career in his chosen field, which will please the family and other revenge seekers.
    How many locals have you heard from that are establishing a defense fund for the officer? Someone needs to get that started so that he can get a fair trial with adequate defense instead of a lynching. Hopefully the officer was a member of PBA or FOP so he can get assistance.
    If he was wrong, he was wrong. WWAY and the local lynch mob doesn’t need to be the one to determine the guilt or outcome, though.

  • jedi1975

    A bold statement. However, it seems the grand jury sees it the same way that the “lynch mob” does. From the onset of this story, eyebrows were raised on the conditions and circumstances of this youngs man death. We, as outsiders looking in, can’t know exactly what happened because we weren’t there but, you don’t have to be a detective to figure out that this officers attitude and actions were dangerous. Proof is in the pudding, the boy is dead. Well trained, well liked, years of service…. all matters not. This officer CAUSED the death of this young man. With that being said, you cannot fault the family of the deceased for being emotionly motivated. It feels like a slap in the face to throw out the words “revenge” and “lynch mob” when dealing with a situation as delicate and as PUBLIC as this. You’re attitude is unwarrented.

  • DollarDivots

    We can only hope the killer is treated with the same fairness the killed receive. I am 70 years old and could have stepped on the kid’s arm,or kicked the electric screw driver from his hand, or knocked it out of his hand with baton. I would not even be afraid to face him without a vest, much less need to shoot him. Get a grip guy….


    People are wanting cops to just be held to the same standards we are. If you have been reading the cop has a lawyer furnished by his union.
    Now as far as anti cop attitudes ..do you think people just wake up and hate cops? People usually get these attitudes from the way they are treated or from the crap cops pull and then just get a slap on the wrist. Cops have the Holier than thou attitude, speak to people in a condescending way and just generally seem to despise the general public.
    Example they stop you and order you out of your car and if you don’t comply they like to say you disobeyed a “lawful command” only time I heard this was in the military! You think a cop should be able to
    “command” a citizen?
    Example they see they filming them they go bat crap, well guess what it is totally legal. The supreme court has ruled so. Remember the idiot cop in Leland that gave the guy crap over filming him. If you are not doing wrong then what are you worried about?
    The general public is getting fed up with the crap cops pull and the “hate” factor is going up steadily up. Don’t believe that just start asking people what they think of cops. Like my dad always said “you make your bed and have to sleep in it” well the cops have made their bed. If there are good cops why do they not just clean the ranks and get rid of the bad, because they are the biggest gang in America.
    Before people start saying I despise them because I am a jailbird or such I have never been arrested , charged with any crime only had a couple of speeding tickets.
    I will tell you honestly I film all interactions with cops and I do it just to protect myself in case I run into a John Wayne type. If you want to see the way they act go to Cop Block or Police the Police on the internet, will wake you up to things not seen in the news.

  • Jukes

    Law enforcement should stop responding to crazy people calls. That is a medical call not a law enforcement call. Should have let the nut case kill his mama then see how the community feels about it. Sorry the Vassey family is going through this. Couldn’t careless about the nut.

  • Old person

    I don’t know the officer but I bet the people
    who are defending him are his family,friends or cops.
    I am 65 and have read or heard about bully cops! as
    far back as I can remember. Seems when they get a
    badge thier attitude changes. They are employed by
    we the people, instead of protecting us they bully
    us! (Most of them) I am sure there are good cops, but
    I am sure the bad out way the good. If people gon’t
    believe that then thier eyes are wide shut! If this
    is not the case why do we hear so much about it in the
    media? I fear them more than I feel safe with them! AND
    NO I have never been trouble with the law!

  • justin

    than they would not have any calls in Brunswick County

  • Pat MaCrotch

    Such ignorance, you should actually educate yourself on schizophrenia, you’re just making yourself look sad…and I wouldn’t be surprised if you ever found yourself in a similar situation because of your ignorance.

  • Bill Pritchard

    Now he gets Bonded out…………..Typical actions for a corrupt system. Not saying all cops are corrupt because they aren’t but REALLY bonded and getting paid for it. UIf that was John Q Public wr’d be under the jail.

  • WT

    I am in no way defending this officer, because I do believe it was a “bad shoot”, but the officer or any citizen for that matter is allowed to get a bond for what he is charged with. If he makes that bond then he has to be released until his trial.

  • Guest2020

    Sorry to disillusion you, but any one off the street would get the same consideration if his criminal background was the same as this officer’s. Bond is set to ensure that the defendant shows up for his court appearance. It is based on the person’s ties to the community and the severity of the charges against him, as well has his criminal background. For this charge and for this man, the bond was appropriate.

  • justin

    when you are arrested you have the right to be bonded out that goes for anyone. the system is not corrupt is sounds like you are.

  • jj

    If the family couldn’t deal with their mentally ill child why do they expect everyone else to be expects at it. They were afraid of him and if he was dangerous they should have had him in a treatment center. Now my comment has nothing to do with the police or their actions. I just think the parents were not getting the kid the help he needed. If he went after his mom with a weapon and she was not able to control him, what would happen if he was away from home?

  • Guest66363

    I’m unsure of what happened that night and I’m going to have to let the legal system work it out because we’ll never really know. However, with regards to a treatment center that is hilarious. There ARE no treatment centers, at least not in this area, for people with schizophrenia. Having walked down this road with a friend who has a child in a similar situation, I’ve watched her beg, plead and fear for her life only to be told that there is really nothing anyone can do.She’s been through the courts, DSS, the Oaks, the hospitals, etc. Home health via DSS came in and told her that it was not a matter of if but when he would do himself and/her harm and to call them when he did because only then could someone do something. When that happened he was simply shipped off for a few weeks to a mental hospital elsewhere in the state, put on stabilizing drugs for a few weeks and sent home. Once home he began to resist the medicines again and the road was traveled a second time with a similar outcome. Unless something significantly changes, her story will eventually end as this one did, with her child committing suicide or in a permanent mental institution after he has killed someone.

  • justin

    I agree with you 100%. first people like that should not be able to breed. second they are wanting a payout. Bryon was a good man and a excellent policeman. Second him or his family should not be put through this. Keith should have been put in a institution long before now.

  • jackie

    Vassey’s mugshot is not on the BC Jail website. It has already been removed from mugshots . com. So how about posting it here? After all, for us “civilians” ours are posted EVERYWHERE. Not that I have ever been arrested but I know plenty of people who have been arrested and their mugshots are forever plastered all over the net even after the charges were dismissed or dropped. A leo IS a Civilian no matter what they consider them selevs to be. Show the civilians mugshot!

  • justin

    His picture is not on there because he is out on bail Duh.

  • Eric Barnes

    Where is his mugshot? Why is it not posted? We should not let this go…

  • UrbanaMom

    Explain to me how you justify vilifying this family for this Officers legal troubles? The evidence was weighed by the DA, State Bureau of Investigation, and a Grand Jury. It was these parties that chose to indict Officer Asshat. Lest you forget, there were two other witnesses there that were NOT related to the victim; the first two Officers on the scene. Clearly, they must not have corroborated Asshats version of events or else there would not have been an indictment.


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