Welp, here’s one trend that rolled over into the new year: police shooting the mentally ill to death.
According to North Carolina’s WECT report, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, deputies were called to assist officers with the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department with an initial response to a home where Keith Vidal, 18, was having a schizophrenic episode. Reports indicate Vidal, who was armed with a very small screwdriver, was tased and subdued on the ground, before being shot by an officer.
The officer who shot Vidal had arrived on the scene only 10 seconds before Vifal was shot. The parents of Vidal allege that the officer officer said, “we don’t have time for this,” and that’s when he, the officer, shot in between the officers holding the teen down, and shot and killed his son. Three different law enforcement agencies were on the scene at the time of the shooting. An investigation is ongoing, as usual; but when will this end is the question.
[…] the first unit on scene was a Boiling Spring Lakes officer who arrived at 12:34 p.m. He was joined shortly after by two additional BSL officers and a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The first unit on scene reported a confrontation in the hallway, but told Brunswick County Dispatchers several times that everything was OK.
Unit 104 from Southport arrived on the scene at 12:48:41, fourteen minutes after the first officer had already been on scene.
Seventy seconds later, Unit 104 radioed out that he had to fire shots at the subject in order to defend himself.
The event report mirrors what family members told the media.
Wilsey said his family called the police to help with his son Keith Vidal who has schizophrenia and had a small screwdriver in his hand. Officers used a Taser on Vidal and then shot him, according to Wilsey.
Wilsey said officers came into their home after they called for backup help when Vidal was having a schizophrenic incident.
Wilsey said officers had his son down on the ground after the teen was tased a few times and an officer said, “we don’t have time for this.” That’s when Wilsey says the officer shot in between the officers holding the teen down, killing his son.
“There was no reason to shoot this kid,” Wilsey said. “They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son.”
The family said police shot Vidal because he had a screwdriver in his hand. They said it was a tiny screwdriver, though, that would not have hurt anyone.
Both parents said they had to watch their son die in front of them. They said Vidal had just turned 18 years old and only weighed about 90 pounds.
Vidal’s mother, also at the scene, said she could not understand what happened.
“Where is the justice, why did they shoot my son?,” she asked. “This is what’s wrong with our mental health system.”
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