Black Man Killed by Va. Beach Cops Was a UVa. Football Player

Former teammates, coach shocked at Donovan Lynch's death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2021 3:01 AM CDT
Black Man Killed by Police in Virginia Beach Was a College Football Player
Police officers redirect traffic along Atlantic Avenue while Japharii Jones with Black Lives Matter 757 protests through a loud speaker demanding justice for Donovan Lynch in Virginia Beach, Va., on Saturday, March 27, 2021.   (Karen Zeis/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

A man shot and killed by a police officer at a Virginia oceanfront resort area was a college football player whose death has stunned his former teammates and head coach, the AP reports. Donovan Lynch, 25, of Virginia Beach, was 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 reported. Head football coach Dane Damron told the newspaper that Lynch was a good player and an outgoing man. He recalled meeting with Lynch and his parents in their home when he was recruiting him. “He was in my house a lot of times as well, going through a cooking class my wife did with some of my players,” Damron said. "He never met a stranger. He’ll certainly be missed.”

Lynch’s father told WAVY-TV that his son was “a father’s dream.” Lynch was one of two people killed in separate shootings that also wounded at least eight others on Friday night in Virginia Beach, according to police. Police initially said that an officer “encountered an armed citizen” and fatally shot him. Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate later said investigators found a firearm “in the vicinity” of the shooting but didn’t immediately have any evidence that it belonged to Lynch, the Virginian-Pilot reported. Neudigate said the officer who killed Lynch was wearing a body camera but, “for unknown reasons,” it was not activated. The officer who killed Lynch has been placed on administrative leave, police said. He has been with the department for five years and is assigned to its special operations division.

(More Virginia Beach stories.)

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