Thursday will be one year since a 5-year-old girl was shot while sleeping in her family's West Ashley home, and no one has been arrested in her death.
That fact eats at Allison Griffor's family as they hold onto hope that those responsible will turn themselves in or be caught and held accountable for her killing.
“My family and I hope and pray that these criminals ... these lost souls, can find time to listen to God and repent,” Allison's parents, William and Jennifer Griffor, said in a statement released Tuesday.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said investigators still are working hard on the case and are determined to find Allison's killer. They still believe some of the people responsible are already in jail, and they are hopeful that a snitch will emerge from that group to help them crack the case, he said.
“It's one that we are definitely working,” Cannon said at a press conference Tuesday. “We feel reasonably comfortable with where we are in the investigation.”
The front door of the Griffors' home on Pierpont Avenue in West Ashley was kicked in about 1 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2011. As Allison's father walked toward the noise, the intruder fired a shotgun into the house.
Several buckshot pellets traveled through the door, through a wall and into Allison's head as she slept in her bed in a room she shared with her two brothers, 7-year-old Aiden and 2-year-old Lucas. She died two days later at Medical University Hospital after brain scans did not show any activity.
William and Jennifer Griffor took their two surviving children back to their home state of Michigan soon after the attack. Through family friend Richard Douglas, they released a statement saying this about the past year:
“We've been taking it moment by moment, trying to stay very busy. It is still hard to believe that someone would shoot blindly into anything, let alone at the voice on the other side of a random stranger's door.”
Cannon maintains the belief that those involved in the shooting mistakenly thought there were drugs at the home. “This was a mistaken identity in terms of the location,” he said.
Cannon said some of those suspected of involvement in Allison's killing already are locked up on charges from other incidents. Still others remain on the streets, he said.
He declined to identify those suspects, say how many people were involved or provide details about the crimes those already in jail are charged with.
“We have felt for a good long while that we have a good idea of who was involved. There were a number of home invasions and armed robberies that were occurring during that time frame,” Cannon said.
The sheriff said he expects this case will be solved when someone — perhaps a minor player in the shooting — rolls over on those involved. The first one to talk has the advantage in perhaps making a deal, though the triggerman will get no breaks, he said.
“When whoever down the road talks to us about it, then we're going to go after you (the others) with the max. Then it's too late to talk to us. Then we don't want to talk to your lawyer,” Cannon said.
The Griffor family has not returned to the home they had been renting when their daughter was killed. They can only hope that another year will not go by without justice for their little girl. In the meantime, they continue working to grasp the reality of their loss, according to their statement.
“It's hard to believe it's been a year since Allison went home to the Lord. It feels like she is still here and just at a friend's house. It's still not real.”
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.