DA: Girl killed outside game likely struck by police fire

Investigators say it’s likely police fired the shots that killed an 8-year-old girl outside a high school football game near Philadelphia last week.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer issued preliminary findings in the investigation Thursday in what he said was an attempt to be transparent with the community.

He said investigators had determined shots were fired on the street outside the football stadium, with at least one fired in the direction of three Sharon Hill police officers who were monitoring the crowd as it left the football game. Stollsteimer said the officers returned fire, likely striking four members of the crowd.

“Tragically, our investigation has now determined that there is a high probability that the responsive gunfire of the Sharon Hill Police Officers struck four victims, including the shots that killed 8-year-old Fanta Bility and wounded her sister,” Stollsteimer said in a written release.

Stollsteimer said he had met with Bility’s family Thursday. He also renewed his call for information on who may have fired the initial shots outside the game and at the officers. No arrests had been made as of Thursday.

Several phone calls to the Sharon Hill Police Department were not answered Thursday afternoon. It was unclear whether the officers who fired their weapons were placed on leave during the investigation.

Officials said the gunfire erupted shortly before 9 p.m. Friday near the main gate to the football field at Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill shortly after the conclusion of the game between Pennsbury and Academy Park high schools.

Pennsbury said in a statement that none of its players, staff or coaches were injured. The school said players were evacuated safely and met by counselors.