Family sues Sharon Hill Borough police officers after girl killed outside football stadium

Fanta Bility was shot after a football game at Academy Park High School on August 27.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Family sues police after girl killed outside football stadium
EMBED <>More Videos

Fanta Bility was killed when police gunfire rang out on the night of August 27 outside of the Academy Park High School following a football game.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The family of a little girl killed by police gunfire in Delaware County, Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit.

The family of 8-year-old Fanta Bility named the Sharon Hill Borough, the police chief and the officers involved in the shooting in the lawsuit.

Bility was killed when gunfire rang out on the night of August 27 outside of the Academy Park High School following a football game.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer has previously stated that initial ballistics analysis has concluded with "near certainty" that it was officers' gunfire that killed the girl.

Stollsteimer said the incident began with a shooting about a block away from the football stadium on the 900 block of Coates Street.

SEE ALSO: Delaware County Black Caucus calls for officers involved in fatal shooting of 8-year-old to be fired

At the same time of the shooting, authorities said a vehicle turned onto Coates Street directly in front of three Sharon Hill Borough police officers.

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

According to Stollsteimer, it's believed that four of the five gunshot victims, including Bility, were struck by shots fired by the Sharon Hill police officers. Final forensic reports have not been released.

Sources have told Action News that no weapon was found after a search of the vehicle and its occupants. No one in the car was hit.

Attorney Bruce Castor is representing the two women who were in the car, as well as the Bility family.

"Both women (in the car) were cut up on their bodies, one severely on her arm from flying glass," Castor said.

Castor said the Bility family wants the officers involved fired and said an apology would mean little at this juncture.

SEE ALSO: Who fatally shot 8-year-old Fanta Bility? That's what her family, lawyer hope to find out

"It's too little too late," Castor said.

The girl's family is seeking damages for Bility's death and the trauma it caused to the family.

"The Borough of Sharon Hill and its agents were deliberately indifferent and reckless with respect to potential violations of constitutional rights. The Borough of Sharon Hill and its police chief were the moving force behind the actions of the officer(s) that led to the death of Fanta Bility," a portion of the lawsuit read.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation into the shooting continues.

The shooting is being investigated by a grand jury, which will determine if the officers will face any charges.

The Sharon Hill Borough Council released this statement on the lawsuit:

"Sharon Hill Borough Council has been served with a federal lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of the Billity family. The Borough is represented by Robert DiDomenicis of Holsten Associates in the federal litigation and will file a response as prescribed by the rules of civil procedure. The entire Borough family grieves for Fanta Billity's family and all those affected by the Academy Park High School Football Game Shooting. To further accountability of all those involved, at its public Council meeting on September 16th the Borough engaged former Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley Hodge of Fox-Rothschild, LLP to conduct an investigative investigation into our Police Department's policies and procedures to include the conduct of the Officers involved in the incident. Ms. Hodge's administrative investigation is ongoing along with that of Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer."