Police: Weapon used in murder of Salisbury 7-year-old has been located and seized

Ayanna Allen was killed in December 2016
Ayanna Allen was 7 at the time of her death in 2016.
Ayanna Allen was 7 at the time of her death in 2016.(WBTV File)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:32 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 1:45 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Police in Salisbury say they have now identified the weapon that was used the night a 7-year-old girl was shot multiple times while sleeping with her grandmother.

Ayanna Allen died on Dec. 4, 2016. Police said on Monday that they have the rifle that was used to fire the shots that killed Allen and injured her grandmother.

The gun was taken from a person who is not a suspect in the Allen case during a traffic stop by Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies a few years ago.

The weapon was a Norinco SKS 7.62x39 Semi-Automatic Rifle (which means it is one shot/trigger pull). Norinco is a Chinese company that makes a copy of the AK-47 rifle.

According to Major John Sifford of the Rowan Sheriff’s Office, the rifle was seized during the service of a narcotics search warrant that was executed at an address on Morgan Rd., Gold Hill, NC, in June of 2019. The person that it was seized from in now under federal prosecution, but is not a suspect in the Ayanna Allen case. The gun came to him via a trade for narcotics.

The rifle was taken to be test fired, along with about 20 other firearms, by the RCSO in March of this year. RCSO detectives had done several interviews during narcotics investigations that provided them with information that the weapon may have been used in the shooting in Salisbury, and provided that information to the Salisbury PD detectives.

Police were able to test fire the gun and make a positive match with the shell casings from the test fire to the shell casings found at the crime scene on Harrell Street. Police say the identification of the weapon used is a “significant step” in the case.

Investigators hope that by having the gun, they may be able to “work backwards” to find out who was in possession of the weapon the night of the shooting that involved Allen.

On the night of the shooting, Allen was pronounced dead on scene. The medical examiner later reported that Allen had 20 gunshot wounds to her head, torso, and extremities.

No one has been charged in the case. A reward of $20,000 has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333, or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

This news coincides with the release of a video by Salisbury Police to honor murder victims. Ayanna’s picture is among those presented. Police hope the video will spur someone to call in with the information that’s needed to solve Ayanna’s case, as well as a number of others.

“If you know something and are unwilling to say something, you are standing in the way of some family or friend or victim receiving the justice they deserve,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes.

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