The father of 25-year-old Donovon Lynch, cousin to entertainer Pharrell Williams, is speaking out after his son was shot and killed during a horrific weekend of shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Donovon was one of two people killed in three separate shootings that took place at Oceanfront. Donovon allegedly brandished a gun when he was killed by a police officer in the 300 block of 20th Street. However, during a recent interview, Donovon’s father, Wayne Lynch, told WAVY News 10‘s Andy Fox that his son was being misrepresented in the media.
“He was an angel to everybody that he came in contact with. That’s why there is so much outpouring of love and support and people in disbelief,” Lynch explained. “They know my family. They know we’re not like this. He didn’t have anything to do with none of that. And for them to portray him like that is wrong. It’s wrong.”
Lynch, a well-known mentor in the Hampton Roads community, is doubtful when it comes to the Virginia Beach Police Department’s report that his son wielded a weapon at the time of his death. He explained that although his son carried a 9mm Ruger, the gun, he claimed, remained in Donovon’s pocket until he was shot. He also revealed that his son was licensed to carry and was the owner of a security firm.
“Don is a business owner. His business is a security company, and he is legally registered and has a concealed weapons permit,” Lynch said. “The gun was not out… It could not be seen… I am wondering why he was shot.” Virginia Beach Police Department Chief Paul Neudigate maintained that after conducting several interviews with homicide detectives, the officer involved, and several witnesses, they confirmed that Donovon was carrying a weapon.
Still, Lynch highlighted the fact that the officer involved in Donovon’s shooting did not have his body camera on for “unknown reasons” — an admission made by Chief Neudigate. The family believes that the body camera was purposely inactive.
“They can’t use that excuse. That excuse has been used way too much…They spent $5.5 million on body cams, and dash cams, and they are not being utilized…,” Lynch expressed. “Police policy is to have them on…the officer had time to turn it on and did not.”
A memorial was held for Donovon Lynch at Pacific and 20th Street Tuesday evening, March 30 at 6 p.m. Pharrell also paid tribute to his cousin on Instagram with a heartfelt message, describing the late business owner as a “bright light and someone who always showed up for others.”