Community leaders in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, are still looking for justice after an 8-year-old girl was allegedly shot and killed by officers in August. While the investigation is still ongoing, the Delaware County District Attorney said the shots that killed Fanta Bility were fired “with near certainty” by officers, CNN reported.
The incident unfolded on Aug. 27 when an argument between a group of young men escalated into violence near the Academy Park High School stadium in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania.
Jack Stollsteimer, the district attorney, said the group exchanged gunfire as spectators were leaving the stadium. Responding to the violence, three officers who were standing opposite the stadium’s exit opened fire. At the same time, a car turned onto the street “directly in front of the officers,” Stollsteimer said.
Bullets fatally struck the 8-year-old and injured several others.
“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. We await final forensic reports,” the district attorney said in a statement.
Bruce Castor Jr., a former prosecutor representing the Bility family, said Fanta’s 12-year-old sister and a 13-year-old boy were among those who were injured during the shooting. A 20-year-old woman who was a passenger in the car was also injured by shattered glass.
Stollsteimer said he has petitioned for an investigative grand jury to consider the evidence and possible criminal charges against the officers.
“The 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 on August 27,” Stollsteimer said, according to 6 ABC.
While the three officers involved in the incident are now placed on administrative leave, former Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley Hodge has been hired to lead the investigation.
“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,” Stollsteimer said, according to CBS Philly.
Members of the Delaware County Black Caucus spoke up for the family of Fanta during a news conference on Thursday. The advocates called for the officers to be fired.
Castor added that the family also wants the officers to be fired and they will not settle for an apology.