VB police say man killed by officer brandished handgun at time of shooting

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Police believe a man shot and killed by an officer Friday night at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront was armed and brandishing a weapon at the time of the shooting.

Police on Monday said the Homicide Unit of the Virginia Beach Police Department was able to conduct interviews with the involved officer, as well as an officer who was a witness to the shooting.

Police have said that three separate shooting events took place Friday night. As police were responding to the gunfire, an officer came into contact with 25-year-old Donovon W. Lynch in the 300 block of 20th Street.

Police Chief Paul Neudigate said the interaction resulted in a “police intervention shooting,” which fatally wounded Lynch.

The two officers interviewed by the Homicide Unit — the officer who fired the weapon and the other officer who witnessed the shooting — both said they saw Lynch brandishing a firearm that was recovered at the scene following the officer-involved shooting.

The release did not say whether Lynch was pointing the gun at officers.

Investigators also spoke with an “independent witness” who corroborated that Lynch was in possession of a handgun earlier that evening.

Police said the “specific actions which resulted in the shooting are part of the ongoing criminal investigation.”

Police also provided two images of the handgun found at the scene.

Over the weekend, Virginia Beach police said the officer involved had a body camera, but it was not on at the time.

The Virginia Beach City Auditor’s Office said it would analyze body camera activation data following deadly officer-involved shooting Friday.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure, police said. He has been with the department for five years and is assigned to its special operations division.

The medical examiner says Lynch died after gunshot wounds to the torso and thigh.

Once the Virginia Beach police investigation into the shooting is completed, all statements and evidence will be sent to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, which is separately investigating the shooting.

Once the criminal investigation and subsequent review and findings by the OCA are complete, the VBPD Internal Affairs Bureau will begin its investigation into policy and procedure compliance, police said.

Lynch was one of two people killed Friday night at the Oceanfront. A 28-year-old woman was also killed by gunfire unrelated to the officer-involved shooting, police said.

Eight others were injured by the shooting incidents Friday night.

The police chief is slated to give an update to City Council during a special session Tuesday afternoon. During that update, Neudigate will give an update on the other two shootings that happened Friday at the Oceanfront.

As of Monday afternoon, three men had been arrested in connection with the violence at the Oceanfront.

After the shootings Friday night, 10 On Your Side spoke with Anthony Lamb, a childhood and college friend of Lynch.

He was emotional, and while he has questions about the officer who shot him, he also blames the individuals who started shooting at the other location.

Friends described Lynch as an “intelligent, kind and passionate human being who always made anyone around him smile.”

Something in the Water — a music festival organized by Pharrell Williams — tweeted on Monday with condolences for Lynch’s family.

“We don’t have the words to fully express how sorry we are about the loss of this beautiful life. We thank you and your family for your light and service. The VA Beach community and beyond will miss you. Rest In Peace Donovon.”

Williams also said Monday that Lynch was his cousin. He posted this message on social media:

“The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure. My cousin Donovon was killed during the shootings. He was a bright light and someone who always showed up 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.”

WAVY News 10’s Brett Hall reports Lynch was also a volunteer with SITW.

A memorial is being planned for him at the Oceanfront Tuesday evening.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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