Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina – A North Carolina detective justifiably shot a schizophrenic 18-year-old because he believed another officer’s life was in danger, a group representing police officers said, offering an account vastly different from that of the late teen’s outraged family.
The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association laid out its version of what happened in Boiling Spring Lakes in a statement issued Wednesday, three days after Keith Vidal was killed.
The most salient part was its defense of a Southport police detective for shooting Vidal after, in its view, determining that the teenager posed a “deadly threat” to another officer. The professional organization represents both these officers but not a sheriff’s deputy also at the scene.
“(The) detective … employed authorized law enforcement action to stop the continuing threat of deadly harm to (the officer) and others,” the Police Benevolent Association concluded.
The Southport detective’s lawyer, W. James Payne, has told CNN affiliate WWAY that once investigations into the shooting are complete, “All folks — everybody — will conclude that the officers acted appropriately.”
Payne elaborated to CNN on Wednesday night, claiming that his client fired after Vidal made multiple attempts to stab the other officer with a screwdriver. The other officer was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not injured.