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Parents call for help, police shoot, kill mentally ill teen after he is subdued

The parents of a North Carolina teen are in disbelief after police shot and killed their son Sunday afternoon as they watched in horror after they called authorities seeking help for the mentally ill 18-year-old.
The parents of a North Carolina teen are in disbelief after police shot and killed their son Sunday afternoon as they watched in horror after they called authorities seeking help for the mentally ill 18-year-old.WWAY-TV

The parents of a North Carolina teen are in disbelief after police shot and killed their son Sunday afternoon as they watched in horror after they called authorities seeking help for the mentally ill 18-year-old. According to a report from the local ABC affiliate WWAY, the boy's father, Mark Wilsey, says officers with the Southport, NC Police Dept. "murdered" their son.

Wilsey and the boy's mother called police seeking assistance for their son, Keith Vidal, who is schizophrenic and also suffered from depression. Vidal, who was armed with a small 6-inch screwdriver, was apparently having a psychotic episode, according to WWAY.

The report says Vidal was holding the screwdriver and threatening to fight his mother so his parents called police to help calm him down. Wilsey told WWAY he never expected calling authorities for help would end with son being shot and killed by someone sworn to serve and protect.

Wilsey said that everything was under control and the first two officers to respond were calming the situation. Then a third officer arrived, and the situation took a dramatic turn. Vidal, who had recently turned 18, weighed only 90 pounds. He couldn’t have hurt anyone with the screwdriver because he was pinned down by the officers on the scene, and had no history of violence according to family and friends.

"Murder. They murdered our son for no reason," Wilsey said. "Everything was going good, then this fat cop from Southport walks in the room, walks around the corner, says, 'We don't have time for this. Tase that kid now. Let's get him out of here.'"

Wilsey says his son tried to run when he heard the word tase.

"The tasers hit him, he fell back. Two officers were on top of him. You know, he's got the little screwdriver. I mean, I would have went and got the screwdriver from him," Wilsey said.

According to Wilsey, Vidal was pinned on the ground by two of the officers and was not posing a threat to anyone when the third officer said, “we don’t have time for this,” and shot Vidal, killing him.

“There was no reason to shoot this kid,” said Wilsey in a statement. “They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son.”

"'What did you shoot my son for?'" Wilsey said he asked the officer. "(The officer said,) 'Well, I'm protecting my officers.' There was no reason for deadly force here."

The officer who shot Vidal has been placed on administrative leave with pay and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is looking into the shooting, according to the report.