7-year-old Salisbury girl killed by gunfire in her sleep

7-year-old Salisbury girl killed by gunfire in her sleep

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Police are still working to solve the deadly shooting of a 7-year-old girl that happened early Sunday morning. Someone sprayed the house with bullets as the little girl slept.

Salisbury police arrived on scene just before 4:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Harrel Street.

A'yanna Allen, who was in second grade, died at the scene. Her grandmother, 56-year-old Shirley Robinson, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg.

Sunday afternoon, Robinson told WBTV she and A'yanna were sleeping on the same bed when someone fired through their bedroom window.

"That was a 7-year-old child, innocent. We were laying in the bed sleeping. What are we doing 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning? We're in here sleeping," Robinson said.

A'yanna attended Koontz Elementary. Rita Foil, spokesperson for Rowan-Salisbury School System, said Critical Response Team members and counselors are at the school to help students, staff, and parents. A'yanna attended the school since kindergarten.

Robinson said her granddaughter lit the room up with her smile.

"She was a joyful child, real joyful child. She was a happy and joyful kid. Wouldn't a day go by she'd make someone smile."

Neighbors, who asked not to be identified, said they woke up to the sound of gunshots, then soon heard emergency responders arrive. One neighbor said he heard at least one car drive away quickly. Another neighbor said her daughter was very upset, because she used to play with A'yanna.

Captain Sheila Lingle with the Salisbury Police Department said investigators have good leads in the case. They do not believe the shooting is random. Lingle would not comment on whether A'yanna's killing could be connected to another homicide nearby the same night outside a local club.

This is not the first time Robinson has dealt with tragedy.

On Christmas morning in 2009, Robinson's son, Antonio Allen - who is A'yanna's father - was shot and killed. Robinson said it took her a long time to cope with that, but it may take even longer this time.

"She was my joy, she was my everything. She was my everything, no matter where she go, she had to go home and be with grandma, and that was my heart."

Robinson asks the shooter to confess.

"Whoever did it, needs to go turn themselves in," Robinson said.

Phillip Bradshaw, who owns Bradshaw's Bail Bonding Company, posted a $1500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Bradshaw says he knows another family member, but would have posted a reward even without a family connection.

"The biggest reason is, we're having so much violence here. Adults shooting each other," said Bradshaw. "Someone comes by and starts shooting into this house blindly and killing a child, it's even worse," he said.

Bradshaw hopes the reward motivates people to come forward. "They should come forward for the right reason anyway," he said, "but sometimes you have to motivate them."

Three hours before A'yanna's shooting, Salisbury Police responded to another crime scene outside a popular club on Avalon Drive about a mile-and-a-half away. 22-year-old Sharod Mathis was shot and killed in the parking lot.

Both shootings are unsolved at the time of publication. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

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