VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The family of Donovon Lynch is grieving and wants justice for his death at the hands of Virginia Beach Police.
The 25-year-old was one of two people killed Friday night at the Oceanfront.
There were three shooting incidents that night, one of which was officer-involved. Police say they were responding to gunfire sometime after 11:20 p.m., when an officer came into contact with Lynch in the 300 block of 20th Street. Lynch was shot and killed.
In an update Monday night, police said an officer who witnessed the incident as well as the officer-involved reported that Lynch brandished a gun. A firearm was recovered at the scene.
Wayne Lynch, Donovon Lynch’s father, was visibly brokenhearted as he spoke exclusively Tuesday with WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox about his son.
“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. 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.”
Wayne Lynch is well-known in Hampton Roads as a mentor, keeping kids on the right track, keeping them away from guns, and keeping them on the right side of the law.
So, when a friend of his son called him and told him to go to the hospital — that Donovon Lynch had been shot — he couldn’t believe it. He got into his car and drove to three hospitals.
“I went to three hospitals and couldn’t find him. I then found out he was still at the scene and he was dead,” he said.
Wayne Lynch sat down with 10 On Your Side to tell us he wants the truth. He wants the truth to come out on how and why his son was killed Friday.
The emotion of loss is painful.
Wayne Lynch discounts the Virginia Beach Police Department’s account that Lynch brandished a handgun. While he says Donovon Lynch did carry a 9mm Ruger, the family claims the gun remained in Donovon Lynch’s pocket until he was shot. His father says Donovon Lynch was licensed to carry it and that he 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,” Wayne Lynch said. “The gun was not out… It could not be seen… I am wondering why he was shot.”
Police say they did see a gun.
Wayne Lynch also doesn’t believe his son fired the weapon and was not one of those recklessly firing guns Saturday and Sunday.
Police have not released whether the 9 MM Ruger had been fired.
The family also expressed its concern that the officer’s body-worn camera was not activated for “unknown reasons,” according to the Virginia Beach police chief. The family believes it was an overt act that it was not activated.
“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… Police policy is to have them on…the officer had time to turn it on, and did not.”
The Virginia Beach City Auditor says he was shocked to hear the body camera on the officer involved in Friday’s shooting was not activated. Lyndon Remias said his office will take a close look at activation data to make sure officers are using their cameras appropriately. The relatively new body camera program is currently in the middle of its first official audit.
WAVY News 10 confirmed with the Medical Examiner’s Office that Lynch died after gunshot wounds to the torso and thigh.
“The pain is unbearable, really. I cannot believe my son won’t be walking through the door,” Wayne Lynch said.
An outpouring of support spans from California, where Donovon Lynch spent time in college, back to his home of the East Coast.
“One person told me, and I cried. He said there was only one person on earth that walked around with wings on his back, and it was Donovon,” Wayne Lynch said, choking back tears. “That describes Donovon perfectly.”
A memorial was planned for Donovon Lynch at Pacific and 20th Street Tuesday night at 6 p.m.