Pharrell's Cousin Donovon Lynch Killed by Police During Virginia Beach Shootings: 'A Bright Light'

Donovon Lynch, 25, and Bad Girls Club star Deshayla E. Harris, 29, were both killed during a series of shootings on Friday

Pharrell Williams is mourning the death of his cousin Donovon Lynch, who was killed during a series of shootings in Virginia Beach over the weekend.

Williams, 47, shared a tribute to Lynch, 25, on Instagram Monday. Deshayla E. Harris, a cast member on the final season of Bad Girls Club, was also killed in the shootings, Virginia Beach police said Saturday.

"The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure," Williams, who is from Virginia Beach, began his post.

"My cousin Donovon was killed during the shootings," the singer-songwriter and music producer continued. "He was a bright light and someone who always showed up for others."

"It is critical my family and the other victims' families get the transparency, honesty and justice they deserve," Williams concluded. "Virginia Beach is the epitome of hope and tenacity and, as a community, we will get through this and come out even stronger."

On Friday night, three separate shooting incidents occurred in the Virginia Beach Resort Area.

Donovon Lynch
Donovon Lynch. Donovon Lynch/instagram

Several people were shot in the first incident — which authorities say was likely the result of a fight that had broken out — though there were no fatalities, police said in a press release released on Saturday. Harris was likely an innocent bystander in the second shooting, police said. No arrests have been yet in connection with her death.

According to police, Lynch was shot by a police officer in the third shooting. On Monday, Virginia Beach police released another press release that claimed Lynch was "brandishing a handgun at the time of the shooting," though details on what led to the shooting were not released.

Deshayla Harris
Deshayla Harris. Deshayla Harris/Instagram

Police said Saturday that it was unclear if Lynch had been armed at the time he was shot and that a gun had been found nearby the scene. The Monday press release said that "an independent witness affirmed that Mr. Lynch had been in possession of a handgun earlier on the evening of March 26, 2021."

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Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said in a press conference Saturday that the officer involved was wearing a body camera, but it was not activated "for unknown reasons."

"As much as we would like to be transparent ... I do not have the answers the community is looking for right now," Neudigate said Saturday.

In the Monday press release, police said that the "specific actions which resulted in the shooting are part of the ongoing criminal investigation."

All statements and evidence gathered by Virginia Beach police will be submitted to the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney (OCA) once the investigation is completed. The OCA is also conducting an independent investigation.

Virginia police told PEOPLE in a statement Tuesday that the officer involved has been placed on "administrative assignment" during the investigation.

"At this time, the Virginia Beach Police Department is still canvassing for and reviewing all evidence related to these three incidents," the department's statement said. "The department will not discuss the activities that transpired on March 26 as that is under review and investigation. The officer that was involved in the March 26 shooting incident has been placed on administrative assignment, which is standard protocol, while it is under investigation."

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

In a statement Sunday, the Virginia Beach chapter of the NAACP also called for transparency and answers for the deaths of both Lynch and Harris.

"We are watching and listening for the department's inquiry into this shooting and expect a thorough and expeditious report," the statement said in part. "The community is waiting!"

Three men allegedly involved in the first shooting — Ahmon Jahree Adams, 22, Nyquez Tyyon Baker, 18, and Devon Maurice Dorsey Jr., 20 — were arrested and charged with seven counts of felonious assault, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and reckless handling of a firearm.

Adams, Baker and Dorsey appeared in court virtually on Monday, the Associated Press reported. They are currently being held without bond and will each have bail hearings in the coming days, the outlet reported. Their individual attorneys could not immediately be identified by PEOPLE.

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