Pharrell says Virginia Beach shooting victim Donovan Lynch was his cousin
'It is critical my family and the other victims’ families get the transparency, honesty and justice they deserve.'
One of the victims in the Virginia Beach shooting on Friday was the cousin of music artist Pharrell Williams.
Taking to his official Instagram on Monday, the singer posted a picture of 25-year-old Donovon Lynch and confirmed that he was shot and killed by police at the Oceanfront Friday night. An earlier report on theGRIO noted that two people died and eight were wounded in shootings along Virginia Beach’s oceanfront, police said Saturday.
“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,” Williams wrote. “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.”
Eight people were shot just after 11 p.m. Friday, Virginia Beach police said in a news release. All eight were taken to local hospitals, with some of their conditions ranging from serious to life-threatening.
One of the victims was identified as 29-year-old Deshayla Harris, who was a bystander that was struck in the 300 block of 19th street and died at the scene. Harris was a cast member of the 17th and final season of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club in 2017 and was nicknamed “The Firecracker Fashionista.” The second identified victim was Lynch, who was killed in an “officer-involved shooting incident in the 300 block of 20th Street,” according to a statement from Chief Paul Neudigate of the Virginia Beach Police Department, theGRIO reported.
WAVY reporter Andy Fox said Lynch’s father, Wayne, called Donovon “a father’s dream son,” in a statement to Fox.
“Intelligent, handsome, a scholar, an athlete, an entrepreneur, and loved by all he came in contact with. Rest In Peace Don,” Fox tweeted.
The shooting stemmed from a conflict that turned into a physical altercation, which led to several individuals pulling out firearms, according to investigations.
Neudigate said police officers arrived around 11:20 pm EST on 20th Street and Atlantic Avenue and as they were actively in the area, more gunshots were fired in the area of 20th Street and Pacific Avenue. Officers believe that the two shootings were unrelated.
According to Neudigate, police were responding to the original gunfire when an officer came into contact with Lynch. Police claim Lynch brandished a gun during the encounter, at which point he was shot and killed. A firearm was reportedly recovered at the scene.
Meanwhile, Black Twitter is giving the side-eye to the official police account about the circumstances surrounding Lynch’s killing.
Three men have been arrested in connection with the other shootings Oceanfront, according to the report.
“We don’t have the words to fully express how sorry we are about the loss of this beautiful life,” Williams’ Something in the Water music festival tweeted on Monday. “We thank you and your family for your light and service. The VA Beach community and beyond will miss you. Rest In Peace Donovon.”
*theGRIO’s Ashley Terrell contributed to this report
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