As questions swirled Saturday about the police shooting of a 25-year-old black man during multiple chaotic shootings in Virginia Beach, the city’s police chief, Paul Neudigate, admitted to reporters Saturday night that there are no images. of the confrontation with the body camera, and the police have no idea. if the man was armed.
“I don’t have a lot of answers,” Neudigate said of Donovan Lynch’s death, which he said “is still under investigation.”
Lynch was killed by police when officers responded to a shooting that they said erupted while facing another unrelated shooting nearby. Police said they faced “three separate shootings” along the city’s waterfront on Friday night. Three men have been arrested in connection with the first shooting of the night, which left eight people injured and occurred minutes before the second shooting.
But the circumstances of the second shooting, during which Lynch died, remain unclear. Neudigate only said that the incident began as a physical altercation until several people drew weapons. Another victim was killed in the shooting, Desheyla Harris, 29, whom Neudigate described as “an innocent victim hit by stray shots.”
Before police identified Lynch as the victim of a shooting involving an officer, an initial press release described the murdered man as “an armed citizen.” But Neudigate openly admitted Saturday night that authorities don’t really know if Lynch was armed.
Instead, Neudigate could only say that “a firearm was recovered in the vicinity of where this incident occurred.”
When asked by a journalist if the police had evidence that the gun belonged to Lynch, or that Lynch was armed at the time he was shot, Neudigate replied point-blank: “No. At this point, no. “
Neudigate also couldn’t tell how many times Lynch was shot. And if anyone hoped the body camera footage could clear things up, the police chief said the camera was not on at the time of the fatal shooting.
“There are no bodycam images. The officer was wearing a body camera, but it was not activated, “he said, adding that the reason the body camera was turned off would be” part of our investigation. ”
“We do not know what were the circumstances that preceded the shooting. There is an expectation [officers] activate body camera “.
Investigators had not yet interviewed the officer who shot Lynch, he said.
“I don’t have the answers the community is looking for,” admitted the police chief. “I can’t stand in front of my community and answer the tough questions.”
Police arrested three men in connection with the shooting: Ahmon Adams, 22, Nyquez Baker, 18, and Devon Dorsey Jr, 20.
The press conference ended with a protester shouting “There is no justice, there is no peace!” The person could be heard calling Lynch’s death “a murder.”