Pharrell Williams cousin, Donovan W. Lynch a 25-year-old college graduate was fatally shot by a police officer after he was allegedly seen brandishing a firearm.
Based on Virginia Beach police reports, around 11:20 p.m. on March 26, 2021, the Virginia Beach Police responded to a shooting call in the Oceanfront Resort Area on Atlantic Avenue, where a group of individuals appeared to have been in a physical altercation.
Following the fight, they started shooting at each other which led to multiple injuries. Minutes later the Virginia Beach Police heard another shooting on Pacific Avenue where a black male was shot to death by a police officer and the final shooting happened near the Pacific Avenue where a black female was shot to death.
One of the victims killed in the Virginia Beach shooting was identified as producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams’s cousin Donovan W. Lynch. The 25-year-old college graduate was fatally shot in a separate incident by a police officer after he was allegedly seen brandishing a firearm.
According to reports, the officer involved in Lynch’s death whose body cam was deactivated at the time of the shooting, has been placed on administrative leave. Williams spoke out about his cousin’s death via Instagram stating that “the loss of these lives are a tragedy beyond measure” He added that Lynch was a bright light and someone who was always there 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,” the Grammy-award winner posted on Instagram.
The second victim in the Virginia Beach shooting was identified as reality star Deshayla E. Harris. The 29-year-old was a cast member on the final season of Bad Girls Club. According to her godmother, who described her as outgoing said she was going out for a night of fun and got caught in the crossfire.
“She is going to be missed because she always had her good spirit with her. She was outgoing. She wasn’t the type that liked to be around trouble,” Deshayla’s godmother told News3.
Chief Paul Neudigate of the Virginia Beach Police Department released a statement stating that he also believed that Harris was an innocent victim who just happened to be hit by a stray bullet.
The individuals charged in the Virginia Beach shootings include 22-year-old Ahmon Jahree Adams, 18-year-old Nyquez Tyyon Baker, and 20-year-old Devon Maurice Dorsey Jr. All three have been charged with seven counts of felonious assault, firearms in the commission of a felony, and reckless handling of a firearm. They are currently being held in Virginia Beach City Jail.
So far this year there have been 8 mass shootings. Four of which occurred in March. On March 13, three adults and a 7-year-old were killed in Indiana and two days later ten people were killed in Boulder, Colorado. On March 16, eight people including six women were killed at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia. And now the shooting in Virginia Beach that left two people dead and eight injured on Friday, March 26.
Tamara Anderson is a freelance writer in the Chicagoland area. She has featured articles in multiple entertainment and hip-hop media outlets.