The Delaware County District Attorney’s office has requested a grand jury investigation after determining “with near certainty” that the bullets that killed 8-year-old Fanta Bility were fired by police officers.
Bility and three others were shot on August 27 after an altercation between several young men outside of a Philadelphia-area high school football game exploded into gunfire.
According to CNN, what started as a verbal confrontation broke out just as spectators were leaving the Academy Park High School stadium. As shots rang out from the argument, officers outside of the stadium opened fire on a car which had turned onto the street.
The three surviving victims believed to have been hit by police fire were Bility’s 12-year-old sister, a 13-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman who was a passenger in that car.
“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,” said DA Jack Stollsteimer in a statement last week. “We await final forensic reports.”
Three officers have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues. Their names have not been released. Stollsteimer has petitioned the Delaware County president judge to convene a grand jury that would determine if they have enough to bring criminal charges against the offices.
In the meantime, the DA’s special investigations unit is conducting additional ballistics tests, and former Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley Hodge has been brought in to investigate the Sharon Hill Police Department as a whole, and the conduct of the three officers in question.
The Bility family has hired Bruce Castor Jr., a former prosecutor, to represent them in the case. In a statement released after the family met with Stollsteimer, Castor said that they are “very satisfied that the district attorney’s is doing everything he should be doing.”