NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Lynch family of Virginia Beach and the Harris family of Norfolk are inextricably linked by the tragic and chaotic night of March 26, 2021. Renee Harris is not Donovon Lynch’s mother but says it feels like it.
The night Donovon Lynch was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer, Renee Harris’ daughter, reality TV star Deshayla Harris, was killed by a so-called stray bullet. Both shootings happened as multiple instances of gunfire broke out at the Oceanfront that night. 11 people were shot, Lynch and Harris fatally.
The day after a police investigation cleared the officer who killed Lynch of criminal charges, Renee Harris sat down with 10 On Your Side’s Regina Mobley for a one-on-one interview on Harris’s front lawn.
She was flanked by yard sign posters of her photogenic daughter on her right. On the grieving mother’s left, a beautiful urn stored the ashes of her daughter’s cremated remains while a golden tiara that adorned Deshayla’s hair at her funeral sat atop the urn.
WAVY’s Regina Mobley: “What was your reaction yesterday when you saw, as your daughter’s case remains unsolved, the amount of resources that were used in the Lynch investigation?”
Renee Harris: “I was highly upset; I was very disappointed. I felt, you know, he was not my child; I felt like his mother, almost, because I have a child and we are going through the same exact thing.”
While the investigation into officer Solomon Simmons is closed except an administrative investigation into whether he followed department policy, more than eight months later, Deshayla’s death remains unsolved.
“There is still a killer walking among us in the 757 no one cares; no one is doing anything about it,” said Renee Harris.
Regina Mobley: “Do you have confidence in the police department that this case will be solved?”
Renee Harris: “No I don’t at all … because of their recklessness and their negligence… From day one, they didn’t handle this case appropriately. If you ask me… it’s not fair. So no, I don’t think they really care. I don’t think they are going to handle the case. I don’t think they are going to solve the case. I think eventually they are going to make it a cold case.”
Police did not respond to a request from 10 On Your Side for an official comment on Renee Harris’ complaints. In the past, police would only say the case remains under investigation. If you know who killed Deshayla Harris, police ask that you call the Crime Solvers hotline aa 1-888- LOCK-U-Up or 1-888-562-5889.