Superintendent highlights quick actions after filming football game

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Administrators, coaches and student leaders who were at the game.
Credit: Pennsbury School District

After gunfire erupted right after a football game in late August between Pennsbury High School and Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, Delaware County, district staff and students responded quickly to the heartbreaking situation.

Pennsbury Superintendent Dr Thomas Smith said last week that the Friday August 27 shooting was “every parent and educator’s worst nightmare.”

8-year-old Fanta Bility was killed when she was hit by gunfire moments after the match ended and fans started to leave the stadium. Four others were hit by bullets, but survived.

Within minutes of news of the shooting returning to Pennsbury, Smith spoke with the football coach, fellow administrators and school board chairwoman Christine Toy-Dragoni, the superintendent said.

By the time the football team returned to Falls Township High School, more than two dozen administrators and counselors were in high school preparing to hear from those who were on hand for the speech of shooting, decompressing and dealing with what had happened.

Smith said players helped passers-by to get to safety when the shots rang out. He added that in one case, Pennsbury players were protecting young children.

Smith said coaches, bus drivers and district security guards at the away game quickly worked to keep the students safe and get them back on buses for the district.

The coaches even came to the aid of one person who was hit by gunfire, Smith said.

Fanta Bility in a family photo.
Credit: Facebook

“Together the staff and players at Pennsbury acted quickly,” said the superintendent.

“It’s an event we never expected to face. But thanks to the leadership of our staff, every member of the team has returned safe and sound to PHS, ”said Lisa Becker, co-principal of Pennsbury High School.

The Pennsbury High School Football Booster Club is raising funds to help the family of the slain girl and her sister, who survived but was also hit by gunfire. To donate, click here.

The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that four of the five gunshot victims, including Fanta, were most likely hit by bullets fired by police. The police were responding to gunshots heard during an altercation. The case was suggested to go to a grand jury in Delaware County, and a law firm was brought in to review the actions of the three officers who fired.

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