Officer cleared in deadly shooting of Pharrell Williams’ cousin in Virginia

Around the South

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP/WNCN) – A grand jury has found that a Virginia Beach police officer was justified in fatally shooting a Black man armed with a gun during a chaotic night of violence on the city’s oceanfront.

The death of Donovon Lynch has drawn heightened scrutiny because he is a cousin Grammy winning musician Pharrell Williams.

Lynch’s father also filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit.

The city’s prosecutors said Tuesday that Officer Solomon Simmons was justified in protecting himself and others in the late March shooting.

They said Lynch racked a round into his handgun’s chamber and pointed his weapon toward a parking lot filled with multiple people and police.

The prosecutors also said that Lynch began to turn toward Simmons.

Lynch, 25, of Virginia Beach, was an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during the 2017 and 2018 seasons and a 2019 graduate of the school, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

— WAVY-TV contributed to this report

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