No charges filed against Virginia Beach police officer who fatally shot Donovan Lynch
- Written by Jonah Grinkewitz
- Category: Local News
- Published: 30 November 2021
A special grand jury concluded officer Solomon Simmons acted in justifiable self-defense and in defense of others when he shot 25-year-old Donovon Lynch in March.
Lynch’s death occurred during a chaotic night at the Oceanfront that involved three separate shooting events. Another woman, DeShayla Harris, died and several others were injured.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Lang presented body camera footage from several officers who were present the night of the shooting.
In one of the videos, an eyewitness says they saw Lynch “cock back” his gun before Simmons shot him.
According to Lang, Simmons said he also heard Lynch load his gun.
“He had the individual crouched down looking over the bushline, he had the individual then start to raise up, as he said, raise up his firearm,” Lang said.
A gun registered to Lynch with one bullet chambered was later found near his body.
The city’s new citizen review board will look at the case after an administrative review by the police department.
Simmons is on administrative leave and does not have patrol duties right now.
In June, Lynch’s father filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city and Simmons.
The suit contends Simmons shot Lynch without warning and failed to provide potentially life-saving aid once he had shot him.
Lang shared body camera footage that showed officers and a civilian bystander giving aid once he was shot.
Simmons released a statement following the grand jury’s decision:
“The past eight months have been a trying time for me and my family, as I am sure that is has been for the Lynch family. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that night,” he wrote.