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- zdan, CNN iReport producer
Today is a somber day for the Wilsey/Vidal Family in Boiling Springs Lakes North Carolina. Around 1 pm on Sunday January 5th, A call for help to the local police department turned Deadly. Keith Vidal Was only 18. He celebrated his 18th birthday on December 10. Keith was a fun loving kid with a dream of becoming a famous drummer. He enjoyed basketball, hunting, fishing and the company of his family and friends. Keith Suffered from Depression and schizophrenia which he was on medication to control. We all know someone who has been touched by the hand of mental illness. Whether it be in the form of bi-polar disorder, dementia,Alzheimer's, or schizophrenia, we try to be compassionate and understanding to those handicaps. Today that was not the case. Vidal's Father contacted the Boiling Springs Lakes Police Department around 1 pm Sunday to try to get help putting Vidal in the car, so he could be taken to a mental evaluation. Vidal was abrasive and did not want to go. and picked up a small electronics screwdriver.Two Officers responded to the scene and started negotiating with Vidal. After about 10 mins the situation started defusing itself with Vidal becoming more rational. At that very moment an Officer From another Town Entered the residence and instructed the officers to stop talking and tase Vidal. As Vidal tried to flee into the bathroom adjacent to where he was standing the two officers simultaneously shot him with their tasers. As Vidal Collapsed backwards on to the floor the two officers jumped on top of the 5ft 3 100 lb Vidal to restrain him.. As Vidal's Father tried to step in and grab the screw driver The Southport Police Officer that had instructed the other officers to use their tasers, moved between the father and the pile of people on the floor and said " We don't have time for this" And shot Vidal Once in the chest as the other two Officers held him on the floor. Vidal's father then grabbed the officer as he was lining himself up for another shot. The officers name as been with held pending an internal investigation. Brunswick County District Attorney John David was on the scene just a few minuets after the news of the Shooting happened. He has Launched an SBI investigation into today's tragic events.
I Knew Keith Vidal Personally. There aren't any words that can express how deeply hurt I am that this happened. Today the world lost an awesome person. Keith was like a little brother to me. I sat many times with him and listened to him play drums, or sat in a hot condo stand with him waiting for a pig to mosey out to eat some corn.. Or just watching his drumming videos saying "man this kids talented". I have been to the place it happened and seen the carnage left in the wake of a bad decision. Despite what any news organization or police representative says to try to justify this cold blooded murder, The facts of the matter are as follows..FIRST THINGS FIRST ( Keith didn't threaten anyone with the screw driver, He merely stated it was his screwdriver and that he didn't want to put it down.) Two full grown , Officers of the law, attempted to calm Keith down. If they had stayed there course things would have been fine. Instead a rash and unforgiving 3rd party decided they didn't have time to save a life, and instead of help, he decided to END a promising young life. Keith Vidal Was a very passionate kid and loved music and basketball more than any thing on this earth..He had many friends and will be dearly missed. He loved his family and they in return loved him.. Today was a tragedy. S.O.P couldn't have been followed. There is no way that Keith deserved to die today... In support of the family I would ask all of you to please pray for the Wilsey/Vidal Families and If you are local, Please help stand against Police Brutality and Unjust Shooting Deaths. Keith shall never again grace us with his illusive smile, He may never play another game of Team Deathmatch with his buddies on xbox, and he may never bang his drums in Madison square garden.. But what we can do for him is make sure that his death was not in vain. We can push and demand justice for this travesty. We can establish laws to protect the mentally ill when they are in their dire time of need. We can refuse to accept the fact that in North Carolina a young man may be held down in his own home tased and then shot by the people who were called there to help. There are no hear say statements in anything I have posted... I have talked to the people involved.. Keith was Murdered in the hall way of his home by a Southport Police Officer in Boiling Springs Lakes. The officer said "concern for officers safety" was the reason he shot Keith. Yet his concern for officer safety Was null and void when he fired his weapon into a mass of bodies on the floor at close range.. He could have just as easily killed one of his own.. If it weren't for Keith's Father grabbing the officer, He would have shot him again.. Keith was a big person in a small body. About 5'3 to 5'5 and 90 to 100lbs Keith was small for his age. Trained officers should know the difference between a 6'5 335 lbs monster and a 5'3 100lb kid.. All that I can say is PASS IT ON. DO NOT LET THIS BE SWEPT UNDER THE GOOD OLE BOY RUG.. DO NOT LET THIS MAN GET AWAY WITH MURDER.. NEXT TIME IT COULD BE CLOSER TO HOME. KEITH WAS SHOT LIKE A DOG IN THE FLOOR OF HIS HOME. . PLEASE HELP US AND DEMAND THE TRUTH AND FOR JUSTICE TO BE SERVED.. Rest In Peace Little Brother, you will be forever missed.. Anthony Owens