Cops Charged After Stray Bullet Kills 8-Year-Old at Pennsylvania High School Football Game
Two teens were initially charged with 8-year-old Fanta Bility's murder after allegedly starting the shoot-out, but had their charges dropped this week when authorities say it was a bullet fired by the officers that killed the young girl.
When an 8-year-old was killed in police fire outside of a high school football game, cops said two teens had started the gunfight that led to a stray bullet killing the young girl, and charged them with her murder. Now, five months after Fanta Bility’s death, the charges against the teens have been dropped and the three Pennsylvania cops who were allegedly involved in the shootout have been charged instead.
Sharon Hill Police officers Devon Smith, Sean Dolan and Brian Devaney are each facing a total of 12 criminal counts of manslaughter and reckless endangerment for their actions that night, according to a statement by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
While it was originally believed the bullet that killed Fanta may have been fired by the officers, “we have now concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that it was, in fact, shots from the officers that struck and killed Fanta Bility and injured three others,” the statement read.
The new charges come after protest and public outcry for police accountability.
Fanta and her family members had been at the high school football game on August 27 cheering her cousin on before she was killed, the Daily Beast reported.
Spectators had been leaving the game when gunfire broke out, authorities said.
The two teens initially charged, 16-year-old Angelo Ford and 18-year-old Hasein Strand, allegedly exchanged gunfire, prompting the officers monitoring the game to return gunfire, an earlier statement from the District Attorney’s office said.
The officers had been shooting at a car they believed was involved in the gunfire, authorities said.
Fanta was shot once in the back and died at the scene, while four other people, including her 13-year-old sister Mamasa, were injured by police fire, the Daily Beast reported.
The officers are now charged with involuntary and voluntary manslaughter instead of murder as there was no evidence of malice in the killings, the statement said.
Ford is still facing charges for attempted murder of Stand, while Stand pleaded guilty for aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm, according to the statement. Stand agreed to a sentence of 32-64 months in prison as a result of his plea deal, authorities said.
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