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One year later | Donovon Lynch, Deshayla Harris remembered in vigil at the Oceanfront

On March 26, 2021, multiple shootings at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront ended with 10 people shot. Two of them, Donovon Lynch and Deshayla Harris, died.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The families of Deshayla Harris and Donovon Lynch will forever remember March 26, 2021.  One year later, they gathered to reflect and remember along Pacific Avenue at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. 

"Though we have lost two beautiful lives in Donovon and Deshayla, we're left with their memories," said City Councilmember Sabrina Wooten.

Family members, friends, community members and community leaders took a moment of silence and prayed.

"Both [Donovon and Deshayla] were bright lights and they should still be here today," said Angie Day with The Underground 1865

On a chaotic night at the Oceanfront last March, Virginia Beach Police Officer Solomon Simmons shot and killed Lynch at the corner of 20th Street.

RELATED: Wayne Lynch fights to clear his son's name, one year after deadly Virginia Beach police shooting

In November, a grand jury cleared Simmons of criminal wrongdoing.

"We cannot continue to accept this as normal," said the father of Donovon, Wayne Lynch. He filed a $50 million lawsuit against Simmons and the city, which is still pending.  

The family continues to fight for justice and for change, while honoring his son with the Donovon Wayne Lynch Foundation, "it's up to us."

RELATED: Oceanfront shootings: One year later

For the Harris family, the fight carries on too. They set up a website with links to a petition and fundraisers. 

"It's hard, especially when you don't know who did it," said Elisheba Harris, the mother of Deshayla Harris. 

Police say Harris was a bystander struck by a stray bullet along 19th Street. The gunman is still unknown.

"No one wants to speak up, but when it hits your doorstep, you would be standing right here doing the same thing," said Elisheba. 

There is a $15,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Both families echoed sentiments and calls of unity in order to move forward.

“Together, we’re going to get it done, no matter what. Virginia Beach, we’re here together. We’re not separating, we’re not going anywhere," said Elisheba.

RELATED: Virginia Beach votes not to create permanent memorial for DeShayla Harris; there will be a task force in her honor


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