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Southport officer suspended after shooting

SOUTHPORT (AP) — A Southport police detective has been suspended without pay after being indicted in the shooting death of a teen last month.

Bryon Vassey previously had been on paid leave while the Jan. 5 shooting of 18-year-old Keith Vidal was investigated.

Vassey was the third officer to respond to a mental health call in Boiling Spring Lakes. Investigators say Vassey shot Vidal less than two minutes after the officer arrived.

A Brunswick County grand jury indicted Vassey earlier this month on a charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Vassey’s lawyer, James Payne, said his client fired to protect Boiling Spring Lake officer John Thomas, who was scuffling with the teen on the floor when the detective arrived. Payne said the teen swung a hand tool at Thomas’ head.

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