Virginia Beach

Father of Virginia Man Shot by Police Files $50M Wrongful Death Suit

Donovan Lynch, cousin of musician Pharrell Williams, was killed in March

The father of a Black man who was fatally shot by police in Virginia Beach has filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that the federal lawsuit was filed by the father of Donovon Lynch against officer Solomon D. Simmons and the city of Virginia Beach.

Police would not confirm that Simmons was the shooter. But police have said the police officer who shot Lynch is Black.

Wayne Lynch claims the officer shot his son “immediately, unlawfully and without warning” and failed to render aid.

Police have said Lynch had a handgun. The family and a witness have denied that. The officer who shot Lynch did not have his body camera turned on, according to police.

Virginia State Police are currently investigating the March 26 shooting.

Simmons did not return the newspaper's calls for comment. City spokeswoman Julie Hill told the Pilot the city could not comment because it had not yet received the lawsuit.

Lynch was at an Oceanfront nightclub with his friend when an unrelated shooting occurred outside, the lawsuit stated. The men left and walked toward their cars when they encountered Simmons.

“Immediately, unlawfully and without warning, officer Simmons fired his police-issued firearm at Mr. Lynch, shooting him twice and killing him,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also alleges that Virginia Beach “had a custom or policy” of failing to properly train its police officers.

Pharrell Williams honored Lynch, his cousin, after the shooting.

"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," Williams said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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