City of Virginia Beach files response to Donovon Lynch family's federal lawsuit, family issues new s
The city said the shooting was justified and claimed Lynch contributed to his own death because he had a gun and entered into an active shooting zone.
Author: 13News Now Staff
Published: 11:04 PM EDT March 21, 2022
Updated: 6:03 PM EDT March 22, 2022
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The City of Virginia Beach responded to a federal lawsuit filed by the family of Donovon Lynch, saying he contributed to his own death.
Lynch was shot and killed by Solomon Simmons, a Virginia Beach police officer, during a violent night at the Oceanfront in March 2021. The officer's body camera wasn't turned on when the shooting happened.
Wayne Lynch, Donovon's father, filed a $50 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against Simmons and the City of Virginia Beach on behalf of his son's estate.
The city filed its response to the lawsuit on Monday, less than two weeks after a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia allowed most of the family's claims to go forward.
RELATED: Judge: Donovon Lynch family's federal lawsuit against Virginia Beach can move forward
In the response, the city said the shooting was justified and claimed Lynch contributed to his own death because he had a gun and entered into an active shooting zone. The city also alleged, based on information and belief, that Lynch was "under the influence of alcohol" at the time.
A statement from the Lynch family on Tuesday expressed their distaste with the city's allegations.
"They killed my son and now they’re trying to kill his reputation,” Donovon's father, Wayne Lynch, said.
This same statement says that Donovon's autopsy report showed his blood alcohol level was only 0.006%. The legal limit in Virginia is 0.08%.
The family says that this attempt to justify the shooting is a "low blow" and “an outrageous attempt to deflect Officer Simmons’ mistakes.”
They filed a suit in June 2021, which the city responded to with a "motion to dismiss," meaning they asked the judge to drop the case.
The Lynch family came back to the court with an amended complaint, addressing some of the city's points, and the city, again, filed for the court to dismiss that amended complaint.