VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Donovon Lynch was a prince, on his way to being a king.
That is how his father, Wayne Lynch, described his son that was killed by a Virginia Beach Police officer Friday night at the Oceanfront.
He was one of more than a dozen speakers who took the megaphone Tuesday night during a candlelight memorial under a pine tree on the corner of 20th Street and Pacific Avenue
That is the corner where 25-year-old Donovon Lynch took his last breath. He was among two dead after a “chaotic night” at the Oceanfront.
A total of 10 people had been shot, two fatally, after multiple shootings that evening in the resort area.
While law enforcement is trying to piece together a complicated puzzle of what happened, the community is mourning.
Hundreds of friends, family and strangers stood side by side to honor the life of Donovon Lynch, a man described by friends as an “intelligent, kind and passionate human being who always made anyone around him smile.”
His younger sister, Lauryn Lynch, 19, helped to organize the event. She said her brother would have wanted people to come together.
“I know my brother loved his friends with his whole heart. They weren’t just friends they were family,” she said through tears.
Lauryn Lynch shared stories about her brother’s thoughtfulness and dedication to her.
“If he had to come get me at 1 o’clock in the morning from a hair appointment, he was going to come and get me. He might have been a little mad ’cause he was losing sleep and had to go to work in the morning, but it didn’t matter. He was still going to come get me,” she said.
Lauryn Lynch made a point to start the memorial early, as she said Donovon was extremely punctual.
“He used to be like ‘I thought you told me you were ready.’ So I would tell him I was ready because I was thinking it would take longer. Every time if it was 3 o’clock. Then it would be time,” Lauryn Lynch said.
Lauryn Lynch made clear that the focus was about how her brother lived, not how he was taken.
Still she wanted to make sure people knew her brother was not a criminal. On Monday, VBPD said that the officer who shot the gun, as well as a witnessing officer, reported seeing Donovon Lynch “brandishing” the weapon.
“They are trying to paint my bother to be something that isn’t even in our blood to be,” Lauryn Lynch said.
His family has said he had a concealed carry permit for his business.
Lauryn Lynch said what makes her angry is that her older brother was taken by an employee of the city he loved.
His cousin was angry after hearing from the police chief Tuesday that the shooting that started the chaos at the Oceanfront last Friday — before a police officer came into contact with Donovon Lynch and fatally shot him — was gang-related.
28-year-old Deshayla Harris was shot and killed Friday night around the same time. Police have not yet arrested any suspects in connection with her death.
Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said they’ve charged several people so far, and from interviews, he said they know they are associated with two local gangs. On Tuesday, police announced they had arrested three more people on charges relating to selling weapons to convicted felons. Another man is accused of hitting a police officer with a car.
And now, his loved ones won’t stand for anything less than justice. No matter how long it takes.
His sister says Donovon Lynch is certainly watching over them all.
Editor’s note, March 28, 2022: Since the original reporting of this story, Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate has said the information given during a meeting March 30, 2021 that nine people were shot and injured and two others were killed at the Oceanfront March 26 was not correct. WAVY confirmed with the chief that eight people were injured and two were killed.