Legendary producer Pharrell Williams revealed on Monday, March 29, that his cousin Donovon Lynch was one of two people killed in a horrific three-part shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday, March 26.
Williams shared a photo of the 25-year-old on his social media account on Monday, March 29, writing, “The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure.” The musician described the young man as a “bright light and someone who always showed up for others.”
He continued, “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.”
Multiple outlets reported that Lynch was shot and killed by Virginia Beach police at Virginia Beach Oceanfront in the 300 block of 20th Street at the time of the second shooting. The medical examiner revealed that Lynch died as a result of gunshot wounds to the torso and thigh.
Virginia Beach Police Department Chief Paul Neudigate said in a statement that Lynch was “brandishing a handgun” around the time of his death and that the officer involved in the shooting had been wearing a body camera, but it was not turned on “for unknown reasons.”
Neudigate also maintained that Lynch was holding a weapon when cops opened fire, despite previous reports that claimed they were unsure. Neudigate cited interviews from homicide detectives with the officer involved, an officer who witnessed the altercation, and an unspecified number of witnesses.
The statement continued, “Both officers report that Mr. Lynch was brandishing a handgun at the time of the shooting. It was recovered at the scene. An independent witness affirmed that Mr. Lunch had been in possession of a handgun earlier on the evening of March 26, 2021. The specific actions which resulted in the shooting are part of the ongoing criminal investigation.” The unidentified officer involved was a five-year veteran of the force and has been placed on administrative leave.
Elsewhere, Jay Jones, a delegate from the Norfolk area in Virginia’s House of Delegates, called for an investigation by the state’s attorney general into the shooting death. On Twitter, he wrote, “We need far better accountability and transparency, and the families of those killed by police, in Virginia Beach and across this country, deserve answers.”
Lynch graduated from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in 2019 and was one of two people who died in three separate shootings Friday evening. The other victim was “Bad Girls Club” alum Deshayal E. Harris, who died in the first shooting. The former reality star was 29 years old. Eight other people were also injured during Friday’s tragic events. Three men have since been arrested in connection to that incident.