In an Instagram post shared Monday night, the North Hollywood producer said his cousin Donovon was killed, describing him as a “bright light” for his friends and family.
“It is critical my family and other victims’ families get the transparency, honesty, and justice they deserve,” Pharrell, who also shared a photo of his cousin, said. “Virginia Beach is the epitome of hope and tenacity and, as a community, we will get through this and come out even stronger.”
A number of collaborators and fellow artists—including The Weeknd, Swizz Beatz, Kenya Barris, and more—shared their condolences in the comments section.
As previously reported, Donovon Lynch—said to have been 25 years old at the time—was shot and killed by police in Virginia Beach. The most recent statement from the Virginia Beach Police Department, also shared on Monday, said that homicide detectives had conduced interviews with the officer involved in the shooting, as well as an officer who witnessed it and an “independent witness.”
In that statement, police claimed that Lynch was “brandishing a handgun at the time of the shooting,” but many have expressed skepticism about the department’s account of the shooting. More specifically, questions have arised about the lack of body cam footage.
Earlier this month, Pharrell was among the artists and other public figures who spoke out against the ongoing rise in violence against Asian Americans.
“Enough is enough,” Pharrell said following the attack across three Atlanta-area spa and massage parlors that left six Asian women and two other people dead. “Last night was another instance of innocent lives lost to domestic terrorism. We must protect our Asian brothers and sisters.”