‘No accountability’ | Justin Fairfax speaks for first time as lead attorney in wrongful death lawsuit filed by Donovon Lynch’s family


The press conference comes days after the Lynch family named Fairfax as lead counsel in their lawsuit against the City of Virginia Beach.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — For the first time since 13News Now reported on former Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax becoming the lead attorney for the family of Donovon Lynch, he stood alongside them in that new role and publicly addressed media Monday.  

Twenty-five-year-old Donovon Lynch is one of two people who died in March 2021 after a night of violence, chaos and confusion at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Lynch was shot and killed by Solomon Simmons, a Virginia Beach police officer, but his body camera wasn’t turned on when the shooting happened.

“We saw training that led to the death of someone that never should have happened. We saw the lack of discipline, lack of restraint, taking the life of an extraordinary young man,” Fairfax said beside Donovon’s father Wayne Lynch.

The press conference comes days after the Lynch family named Fairfax as lead counsel in their lawsuit against the City of Virginia Beach.

“[He] was a father’s dream,” Wayne Lynch said. “Kind, considerate, humble, intelligent.”

Wayne Lynch, Donovon’s father, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Simmons and the City of Virginia Beach on behalf of his son’s estate.

The claims allege Simmons and the city violated Lynch’s constitutional rights with excessive use of force and that Virginia Beach had failed to properly train its police officers, and that this failure to train partially caused the shooting that killed Donovon Lynch.

“You’ll hear more about the case, and facts that Donovon was nothing except an extraordinary and peaceful man,” Fairfax said.

Separately, in late 2021, a special grand jury did not charge the officer who shot and killed Lynch. In March 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that the civil lawsuit could proceed with most of the claims.

“He was walking back to his car, doing what we should be entitled to do, what our children should be entitled to do, which is to get home safely to their families. He [Donovon] was doing exactly what he was asked of, but he was gunned down unlawfully in this moment without warning, no warning given to Donovon Lynch. No body camera to even perceive the tragedy as it unfolded. Little to no aid to save Donovon’s life,” Fairfax said. 

Fairfax is partnering with Attorney Thomas B. Martin of Martin Law PLLC to lead the legal team for Donovon Lynch’s estate and his family.

A statement from a spokesperson for VBPD reads in part:

“… our focus is on presenting the facts that demonstrate that the City trains and supervises its police officers in accordance with best practices. We look forward to our opportunity to present the facts to the court.”

Donovon Lynch Family to hold press conference today at 1pm in Town Center

The press conference will be held at the HIVE at 140 Independence Boulevard on December 1 at 1 p.m. Donovon’s Father response to Local News yesterday on the results of the state investigation in the police shooting/murder of his son, see below. “While disappointed with the conclusions drawn by the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the state’s…


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