Three Pennsylvania police officers have been charged in connection with the Aug. 27 shooting death of an 8-year-old girl and the wounding of three other people outside a high school football game, officials said.
Sharon Hill police officers Devon Smith, 34, Sean Dolan, 25, and Brian Devaney, 41, were hit with a total of 12 counts of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
Police said Angelo “AJ” Ford, 16, got into an argument with Hasein Strand, 19, that escalated to gunfire about a block away from the stadium, the New York Post reports.
The three officers were stationed opposite the stadium’s exit as fans were leaving and a car turned onto a street directly in front of them as shots rang out, according to District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
The officers “discharged their service weapons in the direction of the Academy Park football field,” Stollsteimer said.
Fanta Bility, 8, was killed.
Investigators determined that the officers opened fire in the direction of the football field after two shots were fired in their direction while they were monitoring the exiting crowd, prosecutors said.
“This is a terrible tragedy that was caused by armed and violent criminals who turned a high school football game into a crime scene in which an innocent child lost her life and others were seriously injured,” the defendants’ attorneys, Raymond Driscoll, Steven Patton and Charles Gibbs, said in a joint statement.