Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer issued an update into the shooting death of Fanta Bility. He said that according to their investigation, the 8-year-old girl was likely shot by members of the Sharon Hill Police Department.
Analysis from the investigation showed with “near certainty” that Sharon Hill cops shot four out of the five victims injured during the deadly shooting outside Academy Park High School in late August.
In his statement on Monday, the district attorney said, “We have concluded that the gunfire, combined with the movement of the vehicle, precipitated responsive gunfire from the Sharon Hill police officers. 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.”
Stollsteimer met with members of the Bility family to tell them the news and inform them about how he will be moving forward with the investigation. The district attorney is looking into petitioning the Delware County president judge to establish an investigative grand jury that will look at evidence and bring criminal charges down on the police officers involved.
The three officers who fired the shots during the night of August 27, 2021 have not been identified and have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the formal investigation. None of the officers have been charged with the 8-year-old’s death.
Bruce Castor, the Bility family lawyer, said that the family is looking for justice and that “the person who was involved in firing those shots and setting this off could face second-degree murder charges.”
Fanta’s uncle, Mohamed Bility, said that authorities should do more to protect their children from dangerous gunfire. He said that the children in his community are not safe, whether they are at school or at a simple community football game.
The D.A’s office is running an investigation into the legality of the police officer’s use of fire arms, and an individual law firm has been brought in by the police department to review their policies and procedures when it comes to police use of deadly force.
Jack Stollsteimer spoke to members of the community who are still struggling with the tragic death of Fanta Bility and asked them to be strong during this time. He said, “I understand the community’s desire for closure but ask instead for continued patience as we work to provide justice and accountability for all the victims of this tragedy.”
The 8-year-old’s tragic death happened on Aug. 27 at a Pennsylvania football game that was being held at Academy Park High School. The game had just ended and fans were leaving the area when three men got into a fight on nearby Coates Street.
According to witnesses, someone fired into the football crowd after the fight and police returned fire when a car turned onto the road from Coates St. where the fight had originated. The police investigation revealed that one of the five victims’ wounds was not from police-fired shots. Investigators found many 45 caliber and .9-millimeter shell casings on the scene.
Five people from the crowd were shot at during the tragic gunfire, including Fanta Bility and her older sister. Three of the victims suffered injuries, including the sister, and Fanta Bility was pronounced dead.
“We are hurt, and we need justice,” said Fatima, the little girl’s aunt. “She didn’t deserve this. She was an innocent girl. She did nothing wrong, and she never hurt anyone.”
The Bility family started at GoFundMe to raise money for Fanta’s funeral and other expenses. The family has already raised over $16,000 for the young girl.
Fanta Bility was buried at Upper Darby earlier this month.