A Southport police officer acquitted in the deadly shooting of a schizophrenic teen is still suspended without pay, according to records provided by the city.
Bryon Vassey, 47, was placed on unpaid suspension following the Jan. 5, 2014 shooting death of 18-year-old Keith Vidal. Vassey responded to Vidal’s home to assist other officers called to help with the teen, who was suffering from a schizophrenic episode.
Within moments of arriving, Vassey shot and killed Vidal, who was holding a screwdriver.
Vassey was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter following a 14-day bench trial in May 2016, but according to city officials was kept on unpaid suspension pending the outcome of a wrongful death lawsuit filed in December 2015 by the teen’s mother, Mary Wilsey. The suit named Vassey, the City of Southport, the City of Boiling Spring Lakes, and Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram as defendants. The complaint was settled for $1 million following mediation in December 2016, and a dismissal with prejudice was signed March 13, meaning Wilsey is barred from bringing an action on the same claim.
However, a public records request filled by the city Monday revealed Vassey is still suspended without pay. A request for comment on the matter was not immediately returned.
Vassey has been with the police department since December 2004, and was promoted to detective in July 2011.
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