Virginia Beach, VA – Two people were fatally shot and eight others were wounded in a total of three separate shootings within blocks of each other on Friday night on the Virginia Beach oceanfront.
The series of events began at about 11:22 p.m. on March 26 when Virginia Beach police officers on patrol in the tourist area of the resort town heard gunfire, NPR reported.
A press release from the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) said officers arrived on the scene at Atlantic Avenue and 20th Street and found several people suffering from gunshot wounds.
The preliminary investigation showed that a group of people got into a fistfight and then several people pulled out firearms and a gunfight ensued.
Eight people were transported to area hospitals in conditions varying from “serious to life-threatening,” NPR reported.
While officers were dealing with that crime scene, they heard more gunfire nearby, according to VBPD.
Officers found a female gunshot victim in the 300-block of 19th Street near Pacific Avenue.
Virginia Beach police said the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
While officers were handling the dead woman’s crime scene, VBPD said an officer encountered an armed citizen which led to the “individual being confronted by a uniformed Virginia Beach police officer, resulting in a police intervention shooting,” WAVY reported.
Donovon Lynch, 25, was fatally shot by a Virginia Beach police officer in the 300-block of 20th Street.
Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said investigators recovered a gun “in the vicinity” of the shooting, but had not yet officially linked it to Lynch, WAVY reported.
Chief Neudigate said the officer who shot Lynch had not turned on his bodycam before the shooting “for unknown reasons.”
VBPD’s Homicide Unit was investigating the incident.
The officer who shot Lynch has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, NPR reported.
Shooting at #Virginia beach.
2 killed more 8 injured.#VirginiaBeach @CNN pic.twitter.com/J7WZhTKoPE
— Basherkella – বাঁশেরকেল্লা (@basherkella) March 28, 2021
Police initially did not believe that any of the three incidents were connected.
VBPD arrested 22-year-old Ahmon Jahree Adams, 18-year-old Nyquez Tyyon Baker, and 20-year-old Devon Maurice Dorsey Jr. in connection with gun battle, WAVY reported.
All three men were charged with seven counts of felonious assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and reckless handling of a firearm and were expected to appear in court on Monday.
VBPD releases 2nd update to overnight shootings. @CityofVaBeach pic.twitter.com/KrN0XGmzNf
— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) March 27, 2021
Police identified the female gunshot victim as 28-year-old Deshayla Harris, who appeared on Season 17 of the reality TV show “Bad Girls Club,” TMZ reported.
Investigators believe Harris was caught in crossfire in the second shooting incident.
#BadGirlsClub Season 17 cast member Deshayla passed after after shooting in Virginia Beach Oceanfront. A family member confirmed via Facebook about her passing. pic.twitter.com/QP3zGrI6H8
— OMFGRealityTV (@OMFGRealityTV) March 27, 2021
Police said that during one of the incidents on Friday night, a Virginia Beach police officer was struck by a vehicle and injured, WAVY reported.
The wounded officer was transported to the hospital, treated for injuries, and later released, according to the police department’s press release.
Many were quick to label Friday’s incidents “mass shootings,” but police have said that was not the case, TMZ reported.