- Three former police officers pleaded guilty after shooting an 8-year-old girl last year, per officials.
- The officers were charged with reckless endangerment, officials said.
- The girl’s family told CNN in a statement that the “agony” they feel is “impossible to describe.”
Three former Pennsylvania police officers on Thursday pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in connection with the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old girl last year.
The shooting happened in August 2021 at Academy Park High School when gunfire rang out as the crowd was leaving a local football game. Sharon Hill police officers Sean Dolan, Devon Smith, and Brian Devaney were later charged with shooting at the car, in which 8-year-old Fanta Bility was an occupant.
NBC News reported that the three officers fired 25 times at the car and the crowd leaving the game. Three by police gunfire, including Bility, and a fourth person was also wounded.
The three men were fired earlier this year after prosecutors brought charges against them.
“Fanta’s death was a tragedy for her family, her friends, and for the entire community — and nothing that happened in the courtroom today can lessen the grief that we have all felt since that terrible night,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer wrote in a statement to NBC.
The three officers were initially charged with one count of manslaughter as well, but those charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to WPVI.
Bility’s family said that the “hurt caused” by the “police department has overcome my family with tremendous grief” in a statement to CNN.
“The agony we feel constantly reliving the loss of our dear Fanta who was just 8 years old when she was killed by Sharon Hill police officers, is impossible to describe with words,” Bility’s family said, per CNN.
Bility attended the game with her mother and sister. Bility’s sister was also shot, according to NBC. Bility’s family told CNN the city should be held accountable for her death as well.
“We need to ensure all officers are properly trained so no one ever has to experience the horror and tremendous loss and pain that we continue to feel on a daily basis,” the statement says.
Bility’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against the three former officers and the Sharon Hill Police Department.
A sentencing hearing for the three officers is scheduled for January 2023.