Pharrell Williams’ Cousin, Donovon Lynch, Dies In Virginia Beach Shootings
Musician Pharrell Williams posted on Instagram this weekend in memory of his cousin, Donovon Lynch, who died in a shooting incident in Virginia Beach this past weekend. Deshayla E. Harris, a cast member on the final season of Bad Girls Club, was also killed in the shootings, according to Virginia Beach police.
“The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure. My cousin Donovon was killed during the shootings. He was a bright light and someone who always showed up for others,” wrote Williams on Instagram. “It is critical my family and the other victims’ families get the transparency, honesty and justice they deserve. Virginia Beach is the epitome of hope and tenacity and, as a community, we will get through this and come out even stronger.”
Police say Lynch was killed during the last of three separate shooting incidents that occurred in the Virginia Beach resort area this weekend.
— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) March 29, 2021
The police department said on Saturday that an officer “encountered an armed citizen” and fatally shot Lynch. Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate later said a firearm was found in the area of the shooting. The officer that shot Lynch and a bystander were both interviewed by the police department. Both said Lynch had a handgun during the incident in question.
Neudigate said the officer was wearing a body camera, but it was not activated “for unknown reasons.” The officer in question has been placed on administrative leave.
“We would like to provide the community answers. At this point we do not have them,” Neudigate said.
— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) March 28, 2021
Lynch was a Virginia Beach resident and an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He graduated from the school in 2019.
Several people were shot during the first shooting incident, although no one was killed. Police say that Harris was likely an innocent bystander who was hit by stray gunfire. No arrests have been made in connection to her death yet.
— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) March 27, 2021
Black Lives Matter 757 held a protest Saturday night that called the police officer who shot Lynch to be held accountable.
The Virginia Beach chapter of the NAACP released a statement following the shootings, saying they were distressed, but “not surprised” the officer’s body camera was not on.
“We are watching and listening for the department’s inquiry into this shooting and expect a thorough and expeditious report,” the NAACP’s statement said. “The community is waiting!”
Ahmon Jahree Adams, Nyquez Tyyon Baker and Devon Maurice Dorsey Jr. were all arrested and charged with seven counts of felonious assault, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and reckless handling of a firearm after allegedly being involved in the first shooting. Police said they believe this first shooting stemmed from a fight involving a group of people.
The three men are in jail without bond and will have bail hearings in the coming days.