Salisbury, NC FOX46 - Seven year-old A’yanna Allen was laid to rest Sunday, one week after she was shot and killed while sleeping.
Family and friends of A’yana filled Gethsamane Baptist church to celebrate her life. While they honored her memory, a police officer was posted outside the church, a reminder that her killer hasn’t been caught.
More than a hundred people filled the church. Shirley Robinson, A’yanna’s grandmother, was also shot. She sat in the first pew, with a crutch beside her during the service.
Family, friends and teachers spoke about the seven year old’s hugs, the joy she shared with others and how her life was cut short too soon.
“It took me a while to write this or even come to terms with what I was going to write. But, I‘m just going to start it off how A’yanna started her day and ended her day at school, I want ya’ll to give everybody on your left and your right a hug and a smile if you can,” asked Curtis Blackwell.
The praise team A’yanna danced with twirled in the pulpit, soloists sang from their hearts, while the love the little girl gave to those who knew her was felt throughout the church.
Blackwell addressed the church, “the tragic way her life ended not only should serve as a wakeup call to everyone but urges us to become more proactive in our communities in our lives and the lives of others.”
Police were parked outside the church. The murder investigation is still under way. Police have not made any arrests in the case.
The family asked the community to step up. “We need to get out there and talk to the young folks and find out what’s going on in our community and help get these young kids back talking to each other so they can respect each other so this doesn’t happen again,” said Otis West.
City leaders announced Saturday at a vigil for A’yanna that a $20,000 reward was being offered for information.
Anyone with information is asked to call Salisbury police.