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The family of an eight-year-old girl who was killed in a shooting incident involving police outside a Pennsylvania high school football game in August 2021 has reached an $11 million settlement. 

The resolution was agreed upon in federal court more than two years after the incident that lead to the death of Fanta Bility outside Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, north of Philadelphia. Three others were also injured during the incident. 

The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office previously reported that the shooting incident resulted from teenagers engaging in gunfire during an argument.

The teens fired 25 shots toward a car and crowd of people leaving the football game in the small borough near Philadelphia International Airport. 

It prompted three police officers stationed nearby to discharge their firearms.

Tragically, Fanta lost her life because of a single gunshot wound to her torso.

Fanta Bility, 8, was killed on August 27, 2021 when police exchanged gunfire with a group of shooters outside of a high school football stadium in a suburban Philadelphia town

Authorities later determined that it was police gunfire that led to her death.

Ballistics testing could not determine which officer fired the shot that killed her, but a grand jury recommended that all three face charges after they fired a total of 25 rounds.

‘There is no amount of money that will ever bring Fanta back or erase the horrible tragedy of what occurred on August 27, 2021, from our minds,’ Fanta’s mother Tenneh Kromah said in a statement on NBC News. 

‘We hope to move on and focus specifically on the Fanta Bility Foundation and keeping Fanta’s name and legacy alive.’

The law firm representing the family said they hoped the settlement would provide some ‘measure of justice and accountability to those whose lives were forever changed’ by the incident.

The three officers involved, Sean Dolan, 27, Devon Smith, 36, and Brian Devaney, 43, were fired from the police department and faced charges of voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident that occurred on August 27, 2021. 

The officers told investigators they thought a car driving toward them was the likely source of the gunfire, prompting them to return fire.

Bility was a rising third grader who was at the game to support her older sister, who was cheerleading, and her cousin, who was playing in the game

Fanta Bility died after being struck by a bullet in the torso 

The trio entered guilty pleas in November 2022 to 10 counts each of reckless endangerment. 

As part of the negotiated pleas, the charges of manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter were dismissed, and in May, they received sentences of five years of probation.

Prosecutors revealed that the plea deal was reached after consultation with Bility’s family. 

This settlement also brings to an end three separate lawsuits filed against the borough of Sharon Hill in Delaware County, Pennsylvania noting that it offered ‘those impacted a small measure of closure.’ 

In a statement, the borough extended condolences to the Bility family and committed to improving and implementing policies to prevent such tragedies, while also working to ensure the safety of Sharon Hill residents and rebuilding public confidence and trust.

Bility had attended the game with her mother and an older sister who was also shot but survived. Her family, who belongs to a community of immigrants from Guinea, described her as a sweet child who had a smile for everyone.

The teenagers who fired the initial shots were both originally charged with murder in Bility’s death, but those charges were later dropped. 

Alfredo ‘AJ’ Ford, 16, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder, five counts of assault and endangerment together with several weapons charges. 

Protesters in January 2022 are seen at the Delaware County Courthouse calling for police accountability in the death of 8-year-old Fanta Bility who was shot outside a football game

Murder charges previously filed against two black teenagers, Angelo ‘AJ’ Ford, 16 (left) and Hasein Strand, 19 (right), for firing the gunshots that prompted the officers to shoot back were also dropped last September

Hasein Strand, 19, from Collingdale, was charged with the same counts as Ford.

The pair had got into an argument with one another and it was then shots were fired. 

The district attorney initially charged the teens over the child’s death, but those charges were later dismissed. 

Strand pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for his role in wounding one of the other children struck by gunfire and to the illegal possession of a firearm. 

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Strand is now serving between 32 and 64 months in prison.

Ford also faced charges for his ‘attempt to kill Strand’ and was placed in a youth facility which is later escaped from in February 2022. He was later re-arrested by police and taken to county jail.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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