Teen Shooter Found Guilty in Tragic Death of 8-Year-Old Girl During Football Game Shootout

Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania – A tragic incident during a high school football game in Delaware County resulted in the death of an 8-year-old girl due to a shootout sparked by a teenager. The teen, Angelo “AJ” Ford, was found guilty of attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection to the shooting that occurred on August 27, 2021.

Authorities revealed that Ford, who was 15 at the time, engaged in a confrontation with rival gang members outside the football game in Sharon Hill. In the heat of the moment, Ford fired a gun, prompting a response from Sharon Hill police officers who mistook a moving car as a threat and opened fire. Tragically, one of the bullets fired by the officers struck and killed 8-year-old Fanta Bility in her mother’s arms.

While Ford was not charged in Bility’s death, prosecutors argued that the young girl’s life could have been spared if not for Ford’s actions. The judge presiding over the case ruled that Ford’s actions were not justified and did not constitute self-defense.

Following the incident, three former officers involved in the shooting – Brian Devaney, Devon Smith, and Sean Dolan – pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment as part of a plea deal. Charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter were dropped, and the officers are currently serving probation.

Family members of both Bility and Ford expressed their devastation over the outcome of the case. Ford’s godmother, Kalimah Cunningham, criticized the verdict, highlighting Ford’s young age at the time of the incident. Meanwhile, Bility’s family reached an $11 million settlement in her death, although they were not present for Ford’s conviction.

Hasein Strand, the other suspect in the shooting, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and firearms charges in 2022. Ford is set to be sentenced in September of 2024, with his public defender indicating a potential appeal following sentencing.

The tragic events that unfolded during the high school football game have left a community mourning the loss of a young life and grappling with the consequences of senseless violence. The case serves as a reminder of the devastating effects of gun violence and the importance of accountability in preventing such tragedies in the future.