Police: Assault Rifle Used In 7-Year-Old's Death In 2016

SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) — An assault rifle was used in the death of a 7-year-old girl in 2016 as she slept inside a home, a North Carolina police department said Monday.

A’yanna Allen was shot and killed Dec. 4, 2016, as she slept in a bedroom she shared with her grandmother at the home in Salisbury, authorities said.

The semi-automatic rifle was seized in June 2019 after Rowan County sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at an address in Gold Hill, the Salisbury Post reported. It sat in an evidence room before investigators were able to confirm it was the same weapon used in Allen’s murder, the newspaper reported.

A'yanna died after gunfire riddled a home at around 4 a.m., just hours after a man was shot at a now-closed restaurant. Police say the two shootings are connected, but the only arrest made so far involves a woman charged with obstruction.

Salisbury police spokesman Lt. Justin Crews said shell casings from a March test fire of the rifle matched ones at the scene of the crime. Maj. John Sifford of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said narcotics investigations revealed the rifle may have been used in the Salisbury shooting and they gave that information to police.