Three police officers charged with fatally shooting a child outside a football match
“Because,” he continued, “absent that, we would expect criminal charges.”
Tuesday’s charges stem from a shooting that occurred on August 21, 2021. Police were monitoring the crowd when gunfire erupted outside the football field at Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill during the opening of the season against Pennsbury High School, prosecutors said.
Although there were a few minutes left on the clock, the match was essentially over – a 42-0 win for the home side. People were already heading for the exits when bursts of gunfire rang out.
On the pitch, players hit the ground, seeking safety.
Two of those shots were fired “in the direction” of the officers, prosecutors said. Officers responded by firing “in the direction” of the stadium, prosecutors said.
Officers also fired towards a car they mistakenly believed was the source of the initial shots, prosecutors said. Officers fired 25 shots.
When the shooting stopped, Fanta was dead and at least three people were injured, prosecutors said. On September 2, prosecutors said there was a strong likelihood that Fanta and the other victims were hit by bullets fired by the officers, not the teens.
On Nov. 10, prosecutors filed criminal charges against the two teens — including murder charges that were later dropped — but not against the officers. This sparked outrage in the community and angered Fanta’s family members, who feared the police might end up evading their responsibilities.
One of the teenagers, Hasein Strand, 18, of Collingdale, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and aggravated assault; the other, 16-year-old Angelo Ford, AJ says, “remains charged with serious crimes for his attempt to kill” Mr. Strand, authorities said.