Three Pennsylvania police officers were fired in connection with the shooting death of an 8-year-old girl outside a high school on August 27. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI. | License Photo
Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Three Pennsylvania police officers were fired Thursday after being charged in the Aug. 27 shooting death of 8-year-old Fanta Bility.
Fanta was leaving a high school football game at Academy Park High School on Aug. 27 when she was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between police officers and two armed suspects.
Four other people were also struck, but Fanta's injuries were fatal.
Thursday night, the Sharon Hill Borough Council voted 6-1 to fire the police officers who killed Fanta and injured the others.
"If they looked at us and they fired into a crowd, that's a problem," said one resident, according to ABC6.
"I think that they need to be held accountable for their mistake," said another resident.
Officers Devon Smith, Sean Dolan and Brian Devaney have been released from the police force and each was charged with one count of voluntary manslaughter, one count of involuntary manslaughter and 10 counts of reckless endangerment.
Authorities said the gunfire began in the street near the school due to a verbal altercation at the game. Two shots were fired toward officers Brian Devaney, Sean Dolan and Devon Smith, who were monitoring the crowd exiting the stadium, and responded by discharging their weapons, fatally shooting Fanta and injuring three others.
Jack Stollsteimer, the district attorney for Delaware County, announced in a news release Tuesday that the officers would be charged.
"From the moment the call came in on Aug. 27, my team of investigators and prosecutors has worked tirelessly to achieve justice for Fanta and the other victims of that tragic night," Stollsteimer said. "Today's charges are a big step forward in that process."
The charges were recommended by a grand jury, which has been mulling over evidence since convened in mid-November to decide if the officer's use of force was justified.