Tragedy struck Virginia Beach, Virginia this weekend as a string of shootings left two people dead and eight people injured. Tragically, both of the shooting victims are believed to be unarmed bystanders.
The first shooting took place on the 2000 block of Atlantic Avenue. It is unclear what led to the shooting, but the eight people who were hit were reportedly alive and transported to the hospital. Not long afterward, a 28-year-old by the name of Deshayla Harris from Norfolk, Virginia was killed during a shooting on 19th Street. According to reports, Harris was an unarmed bystander who was hit by a stray bullet.
Rounding out the string of tragic events, 25-year-old Donovon Lynch was shot and killed by a police officer. Details regarding Lynch's death remain hazy. Virginia Beach Police Department Chief Paul Neudigate has stated that there is no body camera footage of the encounter. Moreover, a firearm was recovered within the vicinity of the incident, but no officer has been able to say with confidence that it was even his. Adding on, a separate shooting had taken place there moments before.
“We don’t know what the circumstances were that preceded the shooting. There is an expectation [officers] activate the body camera," Neudigate told reporters.
“I do not have the answers the community is looking for. I’m not able to stand in front of my community and answer the hard questions."
Members of the Lynch family are reportedly shaken and upset by the Donovon's death. A statement obtained by Andy Fox of WAVY News in Virginia outlines Lynch's character and bright future.
“A father’s dream son! [He was] intelligent, handsome, a scholar, an athlete, an entrepreneur, and loved by all he came in contact with Rest In Peace Don,” Donovon's father, Wayne Lynch, told WAVY.
Lynch's death has sparked outrage and frustration from nearby residents, activists and community organizers. Hours after his death, protesters flooded the streets in search of answers.
"Arrest the cops who killed Donovon Lynch," Virginia Tech Hokies Football star Jordan Williams tweeted.
"I’m calling for a full investigation by the AG into the officer-involved shooting of Donovan Lynch in Virginia Beach. We need far better accountability and transparency, and the families of those killed by police, in Virginia Beach and across this country, deserve answers," Virginia Attorney General Candidate Jay Jones added.
The officer responsible for shooting Lynch has been placed on administrative leave. However, local authorities have not released the name of the officer involved.
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