8-year-old Fanta Bility was shot and killed outside a suburban Philadelphia high school football game in Sharon Hill last month. Now investigators believe “with certainty” Sharon Hill police officers fired the gunshots that killed her.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced earlier this week that an “initial ballistics analysis” found that with “near certainty” the bullets that killed Bility were from police officers on the scene.
During the investigation, Stollsteimer’s Special Investigations Unit conducted a review of the legality of officers discharging their weapons, and all three officers involved were placed on administrative duties.
The fatal shooting of Bility took place after police were responding to gunfire a block away from Academy Park High School after a football game had ended.
Gunshots rang out as people were exiting the high school stadium.
Three officers were near the stadium exit when a car turned down the street in front of them. The officers began firing at the car, killing Bility and wounding three other people.
“We have concluded that the gunfire, combined with the movement of the vehicle, precipitated responsive gunfire from the Sharon Hill police officers,” said District Attorney Stollsteimer.
He also stated that a group of young men got into an argument which turned into shooting right near the stadium.
The family of the slain girl met with Stollsteimer and was said to be satisfied with his actions thus far.
The family’s lawyer, who also represents two others injured in the incident said, “While the Bility family is satisfied with Stollsteimer’s efforts so far, the same could not be said of leadership in Sharon Hill.”
The officers’ names have not been released to the public, but Stollsteimer has petitioned a judge for a grand jury to seek possible criminal charges.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquire, Stollsteimer said “A grand jury will hear testimony related to the entire incident that night on Coates Street and will, at the conclusion of its work, issue a comprehensive report as to what happened.”
The Sharon Hill Borough has sought outside counsel to conduct an administrative review of the Sharon Hill Police Department.
Community members led a march earlier this month, calling out the slow wheels of justice in figuring out what happened and which of the three cops on the scene were responsible for killing Bility.