Pharrell Williams lost his cousin in the recent shooting at Virginia Beach.
Two victims passed away during a shooting in Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, this weekend. One of the victims who were shot by police was local Donovon Lynch, who is reportedly the cousin of musical artist and super producer Pharrell Williams. Soon after a new update on the shooting incident was released by the Virginia Beach police on Monday, Pharrell took to Instagram to make his own statement demanding transparency and justice.
Lynch, a graduate of the University of Virginia’s College of Wise, came into contact with an officer responding to the gunfire in the 300 block of 20th street. In the new update, the police claim the victim brandished a weapon on the scene, which caused the officer to open fire. That officer is currently on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted, which is reportedly the protocol.
“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,” Pharrell wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the victim. “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.”
Lynch was also reportedly a volunteer with Something in the Water – a music festival organized by Pharrell. The official Twitter page for the festival sent condolences to the family of the 25-year-old as well. “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,” they wrote.
The initial statement from Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said a firearm was “found in the vicinity” but there was no evidence tying the weapon to Donovon Lynch. The officer was also reportedly wearing a body camera that was not activated for “unknown reasons.” Neudigate said on Saturday that “We would like to provide the community answers. At this point we do not have them.” Then in the update on Monday, police say Lynch brandished a weapon when police came in contact with him.
Lynch was previously a member of the UVA-Wise college football team and played in the position of offensive lineman in 2017 and 2018. One of his former teammates said he was a “good dude” who was always “laughing and joking” and “dancing in the locker room to music.” His dad also told WAVY-TV that he was “a father’s dream.”
The other victim that died from a gunshot wound during the gunfire who police believe was hit by a stray bullet was identified as 28-year-old Bad Girls Club alum Deshayla Harris. Investigations are ongoing in the Virginia Beach shooting, and three suspects that are reportedly in custody.
One of the suspects, Nyquez Baker, said he hasn’t spoken to his family since he was arrested and has “been in the hole” and feels like he’s being tortured https://t.co/8dNHkC3Npb
— Aesia Toliver (@AesiaWAVY) March 29, 2021
BREAKING: This is Malik Kearney. He is accused hitting a @VBPD officer with his car in the shootout Friday night. He was arrested DUI and Hit and Run. He's being held without bond. @WAVY_News pic.twitter.com/SRrz7Kge8K
— Jason Marks (@jasonmarkswavy) March 29, 2021