City, county authorities to erect billboard to solve A’yanna Allen murder

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — City and county authorities hope a billboard will help close the unsolved murder of 7-year-old A’yanna Allen, who was killed in early December while she slept.

Officials with the Salisbury Police and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office announced this morning during a press conference that the billboard will be located at the corner of South Main Street and West Jake Alexander Boulevard, on a main thoroughfare heading toward downtown Salisbury.

Allen, a second-grader at Koontz Elementary School was asleep in a bedroom with her paternal grandmother, Shirley Robinson, when someone sprayed the front of the house and that bedroom with bullets. The little girl was struck multiple times and died at the scene. Her grandmother was shot in the leg, but survived.

Sharod Raheen Mathis, 22, was shot while in the parking lot of Firewater restaurant and lounge following an altercation there hours before the shooting death of A’yanna Allen. He was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center by private car and later died. Salisbury Police have said the two shootings are connected.

Three days after the shooting, the city and county joined together to offer a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for Allen’s death. The county and city came together again to work together to combat crime. Sheriff’s deputies have been working extra duty in the city while the police department addresses vacancies within its department.

An autopsy was conducted Dec. 5 and the report released in February showed the little girl suffered 20 gunshot wounds to her toes, back, torso, head, legs and other areas. The autopsy revealed up to 13 shots that included penetrating wounds and superficial or grazing wounds.

The only arrest in connection to the cases was the December 2016 arrest of  Savannah Maria Queen for felony obstruction of justice. Queen denied on multiple occasions to law enforcement officers that she observed a firearm on the ground at Firewater following the shooting that occurred there. A warrant said the woman not only saw the gun, she also removed the firearm.

No one has come forward with information that has led to an arrest, but police are hopeful the billboard will help.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245, online via