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Editorial: $20,000 for the truth

The violent killing of 7-year-old A’yanna Allen calls for someone to break the code of silence.

An autopsy report that describes 20 bullet wounds would be upsetting in any circumstance, but the fact that a 7-year-old was the victim of this drive-by fusillade is particularly disturbing. Someone knows who is responsible for this child’s murder. 

The people who have information about the shooting need to know they can share it anonymously — and receive a $20,000 reward from the city and county.

The recent release of the N.C. Medical Examiner’s report revives the horror of A’yanna’s death and deepens determination to find her killer. The girl was asleep in bed at her grandmother’s house on Dec. 4 when bullets burst through the window and walls. A’yanna  suffered so many blasts that the medical examiner could not distinguish entry and exit wounds. The child was shot literally from head to toe.

What a horrible, senseless crime.

If the people responsible for this were meting out some kind of gang justice, their system has veered out of control. The shooters either foolishly acted on wrong information or, if they meant to shoot a child, crossed the line from retaliation to cruel butchery.

Gangs are said to give their members a sense of structure and belonging. Members are deeply loyal. This crime, however, calls for a crack in that closed society. A’yanna’s life story deserves closure, and that won’t come until her killer is behind bars.

Crimestoppers takes anonymous tips. In fact, they don’t want your name. The only identification given is a secret code.  An officer takes down information about the crime and then passes it along to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Information can be shared by phone, email, on a website and even on Facebook:

• Call 1-866-639-JAIL (5245)

• Email: crimestoppers@salisburync.gov

tips.salisburyrowancrimestoppers.org

  www.facebook.com/SalisburyRowanCrimeStoppers

A’yanna was known for her smiles and hugs, which were plentiful. “She just had a joy about her,” a teacher said at her funeral. The person who killed that light must not get away with it.

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