Pharrell Williams’ cousin’s death ruled a homicide after he was shot dead by police officer

·2-min read
Police shooting of Pharrell Williams’ 25-year-old cousin, Donovon Lynch, has been ruled homicide in an autopsy report (WAVY TV 10/Screengrab)
Police shooting of Pharrell Williams’ 25-year-old cousin, Donovon Lynch, has been ruled homicide in an autopsy report (WAVY TV 10/Screengrab)

The death of Donovon Lynch, 25-year-old cousin of singer Pharrell Williams who was shot by a Virginia Beach cop in March this year, has been ruled as homicide, according to an autopsy report.

While the report, obtained exclusively by the New York Post, concludes that Lynch’s death was a homicide, no criminal charges have been filed in the case so far.

However, a state grand jury investigation has been launched. The grand jury is scheduled to meet next month.

Lynch was an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia’s college at Wise during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He was one of two people killed in shootings that also wounded at least eight others in Virginia Beach on the night of 26 March.

Lynch was declared dead on the scene. Court documents had revealed that he suffered two gunshot wounds.

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The Virginia Beach police officer who shot Lynch did not have his body camera activated. And no mobile or CCTV footage has surfaced publicly either.

Williams had called for a federal probe into the matter in April. He had said that there were too many “unanswered city and state questions.”

The Virginia Beach police had accused Lynch of brandishing a handgun at the time of the shooting. Police had said that “an independent witness corroborated that Mr Lynch was in possession of a handgun earlier on the evening of 26 March.”

However, Lynch’s friend Darrion Marsh, who was there the night of the shooting disputed the police claim and said that he didn’t see him pull out a gun.

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In June this year, Lynch’s father Wayne Lynch filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Virginia Beach police officer Solomon Simmons III who he said shot his son “unlawfully and without warning.” He sought $50 million-plus costs on seven counts, including wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.

His legal team includes Alex Spiro, a high-profile attorney who has represented the likes of Jay-Z, Robert Kraft and billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk.

However, later he amended his complaint that alleged Mr Simmons “moved [Lynch’s] body around the area, contributing to his death.”

The amended complaint said that Mr Simmons “in not activating his body camera, shooting Lynch without warning and failing to render aid, behaved in a way that no reasonable, appropriately trained officer would have.”

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