Three former Pennsylvania police officers accused of killing an 8-year-old girl when they opened fire on a crowd leaving a high school football game have pleaded guilty to charges in her death.
Fanta Bility was exiting the August 2021 game with her mom and 12-year-old sister when gunfire erupted between the officers — Brian Devaney, 42, Sean Dolan, 26, and Devon Smith, 35 — and a group of teenagers.
Fanta was blasted in the chest and died from her injuries after being rushed to the hospital. Two other kids, including her sister, were also wounded in the chaos.
The former Sharon Hill cops each pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless endangerment for their involvement in Fanta’s death, a spokesperson from the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office told CNN.
The men were each originally charged with an additional one count of manslaughter and one count of involuntary manslaughter, but the charges were dropped as part of the plea deal, 6 ABC reported.
The young girl’s family approved of the plea deal since it meant Devaney, Dolan and Smith admitted they wrongfully killed Fanta.
One of the three officers allegedly fired the fatal shot as he was shot at and returned fire, DA Jack Stollsteimer said at the time. All three of the officers discharged their weapons. Five people, including Fanta, were struck.
“Over this past year, the hurt caused by Sharon Hill Borough and its police department has overcome my family with tremendous grief,” Bility’s family said in a statement. “The agony we feel constantly reliving the loss of our dear Fanta who was just 8 years old when she was killed by Sharon Hill police officers, is impossible to describe with words.”
“Since her mother and siblings were witnesses to this tragic incident, they will have to live with that trauma imprinted in their memories for the rest of their lives.”
Fanta is remembered by her family as a spunky girl that loved making TikTok videos and had a passion for fashion.
“She had her own style, and she was very confident,” Fanta’s cousin Mariam Sanoe said last year. “She was funny. She made everybody laugh. Everybody loved her in the community.”
The officer are expected to be sentenced on Jan. 12.