State Watch

Prosecutor: Police wounded with ‘near certainty’ 4 of 5 outside high school football game

Prosecutors said initial analysis has shown with “near certainty” that four of the five individuals who were wounded outside a high school game near Philadelphia late last month were hit by police gunfire.

“We have concluded that the gunfire, combined with the movement of the vehicle, precipitated responsive gunfire from the Sharon Hill police officers,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said in a statement on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

“Our initial ballistics analysis has concluded with near certainty that four of the five gunshot victims, including Fanta Bility, were tragically struck by shots fired by the Sharon Hill police officers. We await final forensic reports,” he added.

Stollsteimer’s Monday statement comes after he announced earlier this month that the investigation found “high probability” that the officers’ gunfire struck four victims, including 8-year-old Fanta Bility who died.

The district attorney said he has requested an investigative grand jury be convened to look into the Aug. 27 shooting in Sharon Hill that killed Bility and wounded four others.

He said the convening of a grand jury will “aid the investigation of the officers’ use of deadly force.” The panel is ultimately tasked with hearing testimony, issuing a report on what occurred and issuing a presentment if individuals on the panel believe that criminal charges should be brought, according to the AP.

“I understand the community’s desire for closure but ask instead for continued patience as we work to provide justice and accountability for the all the victims of this tragedy,” Stollsteimer said, according to the AP.

The district attorney said a group of young men got into an altercation that turned into gunfire as fans were leaving a football game between the Pennsbury and Academy Park high schools, according to the AP.

A car had turned onto the street directly in front of the officers while they were parked across the street as gunfire broke out.

Stollsteimer also said his office is overseeing a review of the legality of the weapons that were used by the officers, who have since been placed on administrative duties.


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