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Bullets That Killed 8-Year-Old Black Girl After Philadelphia-Area High School Football Game Were Fired By Police, DA Says: ‘Near Certainty’

An 8-year-old Black girl who was struck by bullets at a Pennsylvania high school football game in August was shot by Sharon Hill Borough police officers, the Delaware County District Attorney’s office announced Monday.

District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said that “initial ballistics analysis” has concluded with “near certainty” that bullets fired by officers killed 8-year-old Fanta Bility on Aug. 27. He said he met with Bility’s family earlier on Monday to discuss updates in the investigation, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said that “initial ballistics analysis” has concluded with “near certainty” that bullets fired by Sharon Hill Borough, Pennsylvania, police officers killed 8-year-old Fanta Bility on Aug. 27. (Photo: Action News 6/ YouTube screenshot)

Stollsteimer had previously said there was a “high probability” that Bility was shot by police gunfire.

Final forensic results remain unreleased as the three officers who fired their weapons remain on administrative leave. The officers have not been named publicly

The district attorney’s office is investigating the officers’ weapons use and a grand jury investigation will determine whether charges will be filed.

“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 27th,” said Stollsteimer.

On the day of the shooting, officers were responding to gunfire that broke out in the 900 block of Coates Street, a block from Academy Park High School, after a football game in the Philadelphia suburb.

Three officers were located near where people were exiting the stadium when gunshots rang out and then a car turned down the street in front of the officers, prompting them to begin firing their weapons.

“We have concluded that the gunfire, combined with the movement of the vehicle, precipitated responsive gunfire from the Sharon Hill police officers,” Stollsteimer said Monday.

No one in the car was struck by gunfire, however, a 20-year-old female passenger was inured by shattered glass from the police gunfire, according to attorney Bruce Castor, who is representing the family of Bility, the woman and others injured that night.

A search of the vehicle and its occupants yielded no weapons. Of the five people shot that night, officials say four were struck by police gunfire. Stollsteimer said Bility’s 13-year-old sister was among those shot and wounded by police.

More than 25 shots were fired on the night of the shooting. Castor said the “vast majority” of the shots were fired by police. The suspect who started the shooting has not been apprehended but could face second-degree murder charges in Bility’s death if found.

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