May 17, 2022 6:16 am

Fanta Bility, the eight-year-old girl who was shot dead in the US by the police

Three US police officers were charged Tuesday in the death of an eight-year-old girl, after initially charging two teenagers in the same case.

On August 27, 2021, officers opened fire on a vehicle outside of a high school football game near Philadelphia after hearing gunshots a block away.

Police thought there were armed suspects in the car, but who was inside was, among others, the girl Fanta Bility.

Prosecutors had argued that the tragedy was caused by two teenagers who shot each other to other times before. And the district attorney filed first-degree murder charges against the two young men in November. Later, they said that both, aged 16 and 18, had “initiated the fatal events” and, therefore, they were responsible for Fanta’s death.

This Tuesday, the charges against the teenagers have been dropped. Instead, police officers Devon Smith, Sean Patrick Dolan and Brian James Devaney face charges of voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

According to the newspaper Philadelphia InquirerOfficers were monitoring the crowd when they heard gunshots about 150 feet away and turned to see a car heading toward them.

The police officers they fired 25 bullets that reached four people, including Fanta and her 12-year-old sister. The little girl died in her mother’s arms.

“We are now certain beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers not only shot but killed Fanta Bility and also injured three other youths,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told CBS News.

“They struck back at the wrong target, in the wrong direction, and at a group of people. That is what they are being held accountable for,” he continued.

Stollsteimer said his office had known since September that the bullets that caused the death were fired by officers.

On August 27, 2021, officers opened fire on a vehicle outside a high school football game near Philadelphia.

“He made people happy”

A lawyer for the Bility family said Fanta “was a bright, bright, shining light, the kind of person who made people happy just by looking at her.” The lawyer added: “That he left is a terrible, terrible tragedy.”

Attorneys for the three officers released a joint statement maintaining their innocence and saying they “remain heartbroken for all who have suffered from this senseless violence.”

“This is a terrible tragedy that was caused by armed criminals and violent incidents that turned a high school football game into a crime scene in which an innocent girl lost her life and others were seriously injured,” they added in the statement.

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