The family of Donovan Lynch, Pharrell Williams’ cousin who was shot and killed by police earlier this year, has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Virginia Beach and the officer who allegedly shot their son.
According to reports from, WAVY-TV, Donovan’s father, Wayne Lynch, filed a wrongful death suit Monday, which comes about four months after the 25-year-old was shot and killed by officer Solomon Simmons III.
The tragic incident happened on March 26, while Simmons was responding to reports of a shooting in Virginia Beach. According to the suit, Donovan and a friend were leaving a restaurant when gunshots were fired in the area at around 11 p.m. Wayne says that although his son was not involved with the shooting, Simmons “immediately, unlawfully, and without warning” fired multiple shots at his son, which resulted in his death. Attorney’s say that Simmons had his body camera turned off for “unknown reasons,” during the time of the incident.
While authorities claim Donovan was brandishing a gun at the time of the incident, witnesses have denied those allegations.
“Officer Simmons was on his way to respond to an incident in which Mr. Lynch was not a suspect and not involved,” the lawsuit reads. “Mr. Lynch posed no threat to Officer Simmons or anyone else … [but] Virginia Beach Police Officer Solomon D Simmons shot Mr. Lynch twice, killing him on the streets he grew up on.”
The Virginia Beach Police Department has not identified Simmons as Donovan’s shooter, but Wayne is reportedly seeking $350,000 in damages from the officer and $50 million from the city.
A few days after Donovan’s death, Pharrell posted to Instagram calling for more “transparency, honesty, and justice.” The producer spent his 48th birthday attending his cousin’s funeral, delivering an emotional speech to those in attendance.
“We had to bury my cousin on my birthday,” he said during a Town & Country interview earlier this month. “It was bittersweet. The way he died was bitter. Where he is right now is sweet … I wasn’t able to deliver the speech with the fire and intention I wanted, because I was just choked with emotion.”