Family of woman killed at Virginia Beach Oceanfront: ‘We need answers, we need closure’

Virginia Beach

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The family of 28-year-old Deshayla Harris, one of the two people shot and killed in several shooting incidents Friday night at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, is searching for answers after her death.

Harris, a reality TV star on “The Bad Girls Club,” died after being struck by gunfire in the 300 block of 19th Street, police say.

Investigators say it was one of three separate shooting incidents that night. So far several men have been arrested in connection to the incidents, but in his latest update, Police Chief Paul Neudigate said no arrests have been made for Harris’ death.

Another involved a Virginia Beach police officer fatally shooting 25-year-old Donovon W. Lynch, of Virginia Beach. Eight other people were also hurt by bullets.

Few details have been released in the case, but police believe Harris was a bystander. The medical examiner says she was shot in the head.

“We do believe that she truly is, at this point in time, an innocent victim that was probably struck by stray gunfire in some regards,” Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said Saturday in a press conference.

Loved ones said Deshayla Harris was walking along Atlantic Avenue with friends when shots rang out.

One of her friends on the scene answered Deshayla Harris’ phone in a live Facetime call, and that friend told Renee harris her daughter had been shot. Family members said after that, an officer, not in uniform, took the phone and, in that Facetime video call, broke the news.

Family members said a detective returned their calls Saturday morning. So far, there have been no arrests in the death of Deshayla Harris, nor do we have any details about what happened.

Her family says they have been contacted twice by investigators, but have not spoken formally in-person to police.

“We need answers; we need closure,” the family said.

There is a verified GoFundMe started to raise money for end-of-life expenses for Harris.

That fundraiser seeks to raise $25,000.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said that in the investigation into Lynch’s death, investigators found a firearm “in the vicinity” of the shooting, but didn’t immediately have any evidence that it belonged to Lynch. Neudigate also said the officer who killed Lynch was wearing a body camera but it was not activated “for unknown reasons.”

Lynch’s father told WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox on Saturday that his son was “a father’s dream.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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