Pharrell says his cousin was killed by police in Virginia


25-year-old Donovon Lynch (Photo Courtesy: WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox via Lynch’s family)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In a heartfelt Instagram post on Monday evening, musician Pharrell Williams said a man shot and killed by police in Virginia Beach, Virginia Friday night was his cousin.

Williams, a Virginia Beach native, posted a picture of 25-year-old Donovon W. Lynch with a message:

“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. 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.”

Williams made the post on his verified Instagram account Monday night about a half-hour after Virginia Beach police released an update on the shooting.

There were multiple shootings at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach late Friday, one of which was officer-involved. Lynch was one of two people who were killed and eight others were injured.

Police officials said in an update Monday night that Lynch brandished a gun when an officer responding to the gunfire came into contact with him around 11:20 p.m. Lynch was shot and killed; police say a firearm was recovered at the scene of the crime.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure, police said. He has been with the department for five years and is assigned to its special operations division.

Something in the Water — the Virginia Beach music festival organized by Williams — also tweeted on Monday with condolences for Lynch’s family.

“We don’t have the words to fully express how sorry we are about the loss of this beautiful life. We thank you and your family for your light and service. The VA Beach community and beyond will miss you. Rest In Peace Donovon.”

Lynch was a volunteer with Something in the Water, according to Nexstar’s WAVY.

A memorial is being planned for Lynch at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach Tuesday evening.

Friends have described Lynch as an “intelligent, kind and passionate human being who always made anyone around him smile.”

Lynch also played college football. He was an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and a 2019 graduate of the school.

The identity of the second person killed by gunfire that night was 28-year-old Deshayla E. Harris, of Norfolk, police confirmed. Police said Harris was a bystander at the second shooting incident. TMZ later posted that they confirmed Harris was on season 17 of the show “Bad Girls Club.”

As of Monday afternoon, three men had been arrested in connection with the other shootings at Oceanfront.

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