Family seeks answers in fatal shooting of mentally ill teen by North Carolina officer

Published January 07, 2014

| FoxNews.com

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the shooting of a mentally ill teenager by a police officer in Boiling Springs Lakes over the weekend. 

Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David asked for the investigation after the shooting Sunday afternoon. One of three officers involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave on Sunday, WECT.com reported. 

Family members said they called police after 18-year-old Keith Vidal picked up a screwdriver and threatened his mother. The boy's father, Mark Wilsey Sr., said that initially officers were able to calm his son, who suffers from schizophrenia.

Wilsey said that when a third officer arrived, his son became agitated. Officers used a stun gun on Vidal and then a shot was fired and Vidal was hit, he added.

Authorities say officers from three agencies responded. They have not released additional details.

"There was no reason to shoot this kid," Wilsey told reporters at a news conference on Monday. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."

He said the screwdriver was small and would not have hurt anyone. Vidal's mother said she had made multiple attempts to get her son help for his mental illness, WECT.com reported. 

"Where is the justice, why did they shoot my son?," she asked. "This is what's wrong with our mental health system." 

According to a Brunswick County report obtained by the station, one of the officers involved in the shooting said in a radio dispatch that he had to shoot at the subject in order to defend himself.

Both parents said Vidal had just turned 18 years old and weighed about 90 pounds. Neighbors told the station that the teen played with their children and was never violent. 

WECT.com reported that Vidal attended South Brunswick High School in Southport. A spokesperson for the school told the station that a crisis team was on hand at the school Monday to offer support for students and staff.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more from WECT.com.

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