BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – In an interview with CNN Thursday night, James Payne the attorney representing Bryon Vassey said Keith Vidal attacked an officer.
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.
Wednesday's statements are the most detailed public defense yet of the law enforcement officers involved in Sunday's incident.
"We can say, based on our preliminary findings, that we are very confident that the officers did what they should have under state law," the law enforcement trade association's director, John Midgette, said Wednesday night. "It's a very tragic situation, but we do believe the officers."
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An internal investigation into the officer involved shooting in Boiling Spring Lakes has been completed.
It indicates that no law was violated by the officer that initially responded to the scene were a teen with schizophrenia was shot and killed by an officer.
The Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department sent out a letter addressing the issue. In the letter Chief of Police, Brad Shirley, indicates that no departmental policy or state law was violated.
The Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department would like to express that our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Keith Vidal. Our agency has conducted an internal review of the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Officer who initially responded to the call for service and there is no indication that departmental policy or state law was violated by the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department officer.
I am unable to comment further on the investigation and will refer all requests for information relating to the investigation to the Brunswick County District Attorney or the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Our agency is committed to assisting both the District Attorney and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation in their efforts.
Southport Officer Bryon Vassey is on paid administrative leave. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting at the request of District Attorney Jon David.
Deputy Samantha Lewis of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office has been reviewed by the Sheriff's Office department of professional standards. The review of Lewis shows she did not violate policy.
"Our Office of Professional Standards determined her actions to be appropriate, within policy and was not in violation of any NC laws," said Sheriff John Ingram. "Details of the circumstances that lead Dep. Lewis to utilize her taser will be forthcoming as the investigation progresses."
Lewis was cleared to return to active duty.
"I would like the family of Keith Vidal to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers," said Ingram. "I am a parent, as are many of the men and women who serve at the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, and I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child under any circumstances."