A Black teenager is the only person facing charges after Pennsylvania police fatally shot an 8-year-old Black girl back in August.
Fanta Bility was leaving a football game at the Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill when she was fatally struck by police bullets. Several others were wounded in the August 27 incident, and in the months since, only a Black teenager, Angelo "AJ" Ford, 16, has been charged in her death.
According to the Philly Voice, Ford and another teen, Hasein Strand, 18, were allegedly involved in a shootout near the school which prompted three Sharon Hill police officers to open fire near the football stadium's entrance where game attendees were still exiting around 9 p.m.
Prosecutors are putting Ford and Strand on the hook for allegedly initiating the dispute that led to the officers' response, even though investigators concluded with "near certainty" that Fanta was killed by officers' gunfire.
Investigators say that of the five people wounded in the incident, only one was directly wounded by Strand and Ford's initial shootout. Fanta's older sister, 13-year-old Mawatta, is also among those wounded by police gunfire.
Ford faces multiple charges including first-degree murder. Strand is reportedly still being pursued by police.
"My office has determined that Ford and Strand should be held criminally liable for the murder of Fanta Bility, as well as for the wounding for all the bystanders," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said in a statement.
"The killing of Fanta Bility was a tragedy not just for her family, but the entire Delaware County community. Today's arrests begin the criminal process for those that initiated the deadly events of August 27th by shooting to kill at a high school football game."
As far as the police involved in the fatal incident, an investigation into the conduct of the Sharon Hill officers that night is still underway.
A grand jury will hear the case November 18 and determine if the officers were justified in using deadly force or if they too should be held criminally responsible for Fanta's killing.
Last month, Fanta's family filed a federal lawsuit against the borough of Sharon Hill, the police chief and three officers who fired on the crowd. The lawsuit calls out the police for acting recklessly and didn't show proper training to handled an incident without harming or putting bystanders at risk.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.