A police department has said its officers fired the shots that killed an eight year-old girl while responding to a shootout at a suburban Philadelphia football game.
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office say with ‘near certainty’ that it was police gunfire that killed Fanta Bility and injured four others following a football game on August 27.
DA Jack Stollsteimer said: ‘Today, on the one month anniversary of the tragic shooting in Sharon Hill Borough that took the life of 8-year old Fanta Bility and wounded four others, I met with the Bility family to provide an update on the significant progress my team of prosecutors and detectives has made into the events of that terrible night…
‘Our initial ballistics analysis has concluded with near certainty that four of the five gunshot victims, including Fanta Bility, were tragically struck by shots fired by the Sharon Hill police officers.
Fanta Bility, 8, was killed on August 27 when police exchanged gunfire with a group of shooters outside of a high school football stadium in a suburban Philadelphia town
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office say with ‘near certainty’ that it was police gunfire that killed Fanta Bility and injured four others following a football game on August 27
‘We await final forensic reports. We have concluded that the gunfire, combined with the movement of the vehicle, precipitated responsive gunfire from the Sharon Hill police officers.’
Stollsteimer said his team was investigating the legality of the gunshots fired by the cops, and that an independent attorney had been hired to conduct a review of Sharon Hill Police Department’s policies and procedures.
The cops who fired the shots have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.
He said a grand jury had also been empaneled to decide whether the incident merited criminal charges against the cops, and added that no other information would be shared until jurors have made their decision.
The scene of the shooting is cordoned off with crime scene tape
Bility was struck in a chaotic scene outside of Academy Park High School – less than five miles outside of Philadelphia – on August 27.
A group of men were having an argument when gunfire suddenly broke out between the men and police, at the same time spectators were leaving the stadium at Academy Park High School.
One of the bullets struck Fanta while another hit her sister who was cheerleading during the game, was also shot.
Investigators, now say with near certainty, say that four of the five gunshot victims, including Fanta Bility, were struck by shots fired by the police officers.
Multiple .45 caliber and .9-millimeter shell casings were recovered, according to investigators.
Bility was a rising third grader who was at the game to support her older sister, who was cheerleading, and her cousin, who was playing in the game
The child from Sharon Hill, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died at a hospital after being shot in the chest on Friday as the game between Academy Park and Pennsbury high schools ended
At least one of the shots was fired in the direction of Sharon Hill police officers.
The officers returned fire as 200 people were fleeing during the chaotic scene. Four victims were hit in the cross fire, the district attorney said.
Fanta attended the game with her family to support her sister and cousin, who was playing in the game.
An online fundraiser set up by Bility’s relatives has collected more than $15,000
Mohamed Bility, Fanta’s uncle, said he was devastated that children can’t escape the threat of gun violence.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer has released the findings of the investigation into Fanta Bility’s death saying that it was police bullets that killed her
He asked when the shootings were ‘going to stop’ and questioned when the authorities would ‘get control of guns on the streets’, saying children were never safe.
He added: ‘When they go to school, they are not safe. When they go to a program on a football field they are not safe, either.’
Philadelphia – like most other major cities in the U.S. – have been plagued by crime and gun violence.
There’s already been 404 homicide victims in the city so far this year, which is 18 percent more than last year, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.