New Journal and Guide Staff Report
Thirteen weeks after his son was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer, the father of Donovon Wayne Lynch has filed a $50 million suit against the officer involved in the incident.
Wayne Lynch, the father of the 25-year-old man, recently filed the wrongful death suit in the U.S. District Court in Norfolk.
In the suit, Lynch claims that the officer shot his son “unlawfully and without warning and failed to help save his life,” after the incident near the Beach Oceanfront on the evening of March 26. Donovan Lynch died shortly thereafter in the early hours of March 27.
Although the Virginia Beach Police Department has yet to officially name the officer involved in the shooting, he is named in Lynch’s suit as Solomon D. Simmons III.
Along with the money, Lynch is seeking a jury trial to determine his claims to the damages from Simmons and the city.
The lawsuit says Simmons used excessive force and acted with gross negligence when he shot and killed Lynch. The lawsuit also says he failed to properly identify himself beforehand or give any warning before firing the shots, and didn’t render medical aid afterward.
Virginia Beach issued this statement from spokeswoman Julie Hill in the meantime: “We have not received service of the lawsuit so we cannot comment. Once we receive and digest it, we will respond to it appropriately.”
The 25-year-old Lynch was shot by the police officer during a Friday night of violence involving at least three separate incidents.
A police report claimed Lynch was shot after he allegedly brandished a weapon during the chaos. People who knew him say Lynch’s personality has been misrepresented.
The lawsuit said that Donovon Lynch was not a threat the night of the shooting, and was trying to leave the area with his friend Darrion Marsh as officers investigated gunshots that rang out around 11:20 p.m. Several other people were struck by gunfire that night, including
DeShayla Harris, who was fatally shot in a separate incident.
Simmons, attorneys say, knew Lynch. In addition to knowing Lynch, the lawsuit repeatedly points out Lynch “was unmistakable as anyone else” due to his 6 foot-5, 305-pound frame. Lynch was a former offensive lineman for the University of Virginia College at Wise.
Another issue is that the officer’s body camera was not on for “unknown reasons,” leading up to the fatal incident.
The lawsuit also lists the City of Virginia Beach as a defendant, saying the city failed to properly train officers on the use of deadly force and other techniques that would have prevented Lynch’s death
Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott and other individuals have requested the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the shooting. The Virginia State Police are currently conducting an independent investigation.