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Harris is believed to have been an "innocent victim" of one of the Virginia Beach shootings, according to police

By Maria Pasquini
March 28, 2021 11:15 AM
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Deshayla Harris
Deshayla Harris
| Credit: Deshayla Harris/Instagram

Police have released the identities of the two people who were killed during the Virginia Beach shootings on Friday.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the Virginia Beach police identified the victims as Deshayla E. Harris, a cast member on the final season of Bad Girls Club, and Donovon W. Lynch, 25.

Harris, who is originally from Norfolk, Virginia, is believed to have been a "bystander at the second shooting," which is still under investigation and is not believed to have been connected with the other incidents.  No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

"We do believe that she truly is, at this point in time, an innocent victim that was probably struck by stray gunfire in some regards," Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said at a Saturday press conference. 

On Saturday night, Bad Girls Club released a statement regarding Harris' death. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Deshayla's family and loved ones," the show wrote on Twitter. 

Her death was also mourned by fellow Bad Girls Club star Key Hamilton. 

"You didn't deserve this man this sh-- jus don't feel real ....I'm sick affffff 🥲🥲 rest easy Babygirl," Hamilton wrote. "Thank you for always pushing me and supporting me no matter where we were in our friendship...watch over me 🙏🏾 I love you ...we literally JUST talked 3 days ago."

Deshayla Harris
Deshayla Harris
| Credit: Deshayla Harris/Instagram

Lynch died in the third shooting, which was officer-involved.

Police said that officers on the scene responded to gunfire, which led to an "individual being confronted by a uniformed Virginia Beach police officer, resulting in a police intervention shooting," according to WAVY.

No footage exists of the incident because "for unknown reasons at this point in time" the body cam on the officer involved in the incident "was not activated." VBPD Chief Neudigate said at the Saturday press conference.

"As much as we would like to be transparent — we pride ourselves on being accountable and responsive — I do not have the answers that the community is looking for in regards to this death right now," he added.

A protest was held later that night by Black Lives Matter 757, with activists calling for the police officer involved to be held accountable for Lynch's death.  

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Lynch's death has been mourned by several family members and friends, with his father calling Lynch a "dream son." 

"Intelligent, handsome, a scholar, an athlete, an entrepreneur and loved by all he came in contact with," he said in a statement to WAVY. "Rest in Peace Don!" 

"My cousin was a college graduate, a friend, a cousin, a brother, a son, loved my all of his family. He was only 25 years old full of ambition. My heart is broken," cousin Johnathan Lynch wrote in another tribute. 

Lynch's alma mater also released a statement regarding the former college athlete's death. 

"UVA Wise is saddened to hear of the death of alumnus Donovon Lynch," UVA Wise Communications Director and spokesperson Kathy Still said Saturday, in a statement to Times News. "I know the investigation is ongoing, and our hearts are broken for his family during this time."

Virginia Beach shooting
Credit: John C Clark/AP/Shutterstock

Two people were killed and eight injured following what police described as "a very chaotic night" in Virginia Beach on Friday, involving three separate shootings. 

"Approximately seven" individuals were shot during the first incident and transported to local hospitals with injuries," police said at the Saturday press conference. Authorities said the incident "started out as a physical fight...that at some point escalated into gunfire."

Police have made three arrests in connection with the first shooting: Ahmon Jahree Adams, 22, Nyquez Tyyon Baker, 18, and Devon Maurice Dorsey Jr., 20. They have each been charged with seven counts of felonious assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and reckless handling of a firearm.