The man who was shot dead by police during a Friday night melee in Virginia Beach was a cousin of Pharrell Williams, the musician said.
Donovon Lynch, of Virginia Beach, 25, was shot and killed by a uniformed police officer a block away from a shooting that injured eight people.
Pharrell, who is a Virginia Beach native, tweeted the news Monday.
“The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure. My cousin Donovon was killed during the shootings,” the 13-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer tweeted.
“It is critical my family and the other victims’ families get the transparency they deserve. VA Beach is the epitome of hope and we will get through this,” the post continued.
Lynch’s aunt, Venita Lynch Alukwu, said in a Facebook post that their “hearts are broken into pieces!”
“He is my brother Wayne’s only son. He was a smart, loving, adorable and all around great young man, that I was very close to,” she wrote.
.He was Murdered in his hometown, Virginia Beach by a Virginia Beach Police … We all are shocked and devastated beyond words.”
The cop who fatally shot Lynch is a five-year veteran of Virginia Beach Police who worked in the department’s Special Operations Division.
In the aftermath of the incident, police were vague on details, saying cops “encountered an armed citizen which resulted in a police involved shooting.”
The incident is under investigation, authorities said.
Another shooting at the scene of Lynch’s killing during the chaotic night claimed the life of “Bad Girls Club” star Deshayla “Shay” Harris, 29.
Three men are in custody in connection with the initial gunfight that left eight wounded.
Lynch, a Virginia Beach resident, had been an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during the 2017 and 2018 seasons and a 2019 graduate of the school, the Bristol Herald Courier said.
“I learned about his death earlier this morning and I couldn’t help myself from crying,” former teammate Sage McBride told the paper.
“He was like a brother to me,” he said of the man friends described as a 6-foot 4ins, 325-pound gentle giant.
Another former teammate, Eli Marks, said he “didn’t believe it at first” when he heard that the man shot by cops was his friend, described by the paper as a gregarious 6-foot 4ins, 325-pound gentle giant.
“He was good dude, always laughing and joking. He was always dancing in the locker room to music. Just a great overall individual,” Marks told the paper.
UVA Wise head football coach Dane Damron told the paper that he “recruited Donovon personally and met with his mom and dad in their house.”
“He was in my house a lot of times as well, going through a cooking class my wife did with some of my players.
“He was a personable young man and very outgoing. He never met a stranger. He’ll certainly be missed,” he said.