Cop Kills Schizophrenic Teen After His Family Asks for Help

A North Carolina family says their teenage son was shot and killed "in cold blood" by local police despite having already been restrained and tased following a schizophrenic episode.

The family of 18-year-old Keith Vidal phoned the authorities on Sunday to ask for help in controlling their schizophrenic son, who was wielding a small screwdriver and threatening to fight his mother.

A report released by the Brunswick Country Sheriff's Office says that three Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department officers arrived at the scene shortly after 12:30 PM, and were quickly joined by a Brunswick County Sheriff's Deputy.

Despite radioing in to Brunswick County Dispatchers that the situation was under control following a confrontation inside the home, a Southport Police Department cruiser arrived to assist some 14 minutes after the first car came on the scene.

Just seventy seconds later, Vidal was shot and killed by the Southport officer.

The official report states that the officer was defending himself against Vidal's advances, but the 90-pound teen's family tells an entirely different story.

According to Vidal's stepfather, Mark Wilsey, the incident was practically over and his stepson was being restrained by two officers when the Southport cop arrived.

"Then all of a sudden, this Southport cop came, walked in the house [and said]: 'I don't have time for this. Tase him. Let's get him out of here," Wilsey recalled.

Seconds later Vidal was tased by another officer.

"He hit the ground [and] this guy shot him," Wilsey told NBC News, referring to the Southport officer.

Wilsey said he asked the cop why he shot his stepson. "Well, I'm protecting my officers," he responded, according to Wilsey.

"There was no reason to shoot this kid," Wilsey told WECT. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."

The Southport Police Department has since placed Detective Byron Vassey, a nine-year veteran, on paid leave, but wouldn't say if he was the officer who killed Vidal.

None of the Boiling Spring Lakes officers have been suspended.

At a news conference yesterday, the District Attorney's Office said the incident would be investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation, and vowed to "go wherever the truth leads in this case."

Vidal's mother, Mary, was among family members who showed up uninvited to yesterday's conference with signs that simply read "Why?"

[screengrab via WECT]