3 cops charged in girl's shooting death outside Philadelphia fired

·2 min read

Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania — Three Sharon Hill police officers charged in 8-year-old Fanta Bility's shooting death have been fired, CBS Philadelphia reports.

The Philadelphia suburb's Borough Council voted 6 to 1 Thursday night in favor of firing the officers.

Undated photo shows Fanta Bility. / Credit: CBS Philadelphia
Undated photo shows Fanta Bility. / Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Officers Brian Devaney, Sean Dolan and Devon Smith are each facing 12 counts of manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

The counts stem an incident after an August 27 high school football game.

That's when, witnesses told police, 18-year-old Hasein Strand and 16-year-old Angelo "AJ" Ford got into a verbal fight before firing at each other.

The three Sharon Hill officers were at the game helping people exit when they heard the shots.

A grand jury found the officers collectively fired their guns more than two dozen times, leaving Fanta dead and wounding three other people.

"These officers made a split-second decision to return fire. We trust them to get that decision right and they got it horribly wrong," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said earlier this week.

It was a mixed crowd Thursday night at the council meeting.

Some were in favor of the firing.

"It was reckless what they did. It was extremely reckless," one man said.

Others defended the officers.

"What you are doing to our three police officers is wrong. Do I think they need to be retrained? Absolutely. Do I think they need to be prosecuted like criminals? No," a woman said. "We don't want to get to the point where our officers are afraid to stop crime."

Another resident called it a lose-lose situation.

"I understand there is a life lost and I get it and I feel it in my heart. (But) these are the guys that serve and protect our community, who drive around, who we see on the streets and who, when you call 911, they show up," a man said.

Council President Tanya Allen released a statement following the vote saying, "Sharon Hill's heart is still broken. The entire Borough grieves for Fanta Bility and we again convey our deepest sympathies to her family and everyone affected by the shooting. … We respect the judicial process and while we have been patient in our approach, now that the Grand Jury has concluded its investigation, and given the serious charges issued by the District Attorney, we are able to move forward with measures that will hold the Officers accountable."

How to run for Congress — in one minute

Another weekend winter storm takes aim at the Carolinas with ice, snow and freezing temps

MoneyWatch: Peloton's CEO pushes back after report that it paused manufacturing its bikes and treadmills