Lawmakers seek to name home invasion bill after 5-year-old girl

Allison Griffor

Provided

CHARLESTON, SC -- Two state lawmakers want people to remember 5-year-old Allison Griffor's horrific shooting death by renaming a proposed home invasion bill "Allison's Law."

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, originally proposed the "Home Invasion Protection Act" in February. It would classify home invasions among violent crimes and provide that any home invasion or drive-by shooting that injures a resident would lead to a death penalty consideration, Gilliard said.

Allison's family does not support a law that would put someone to death under her name. Gilliard said he would name the bill after the little girl only with the family's blessing.

"I feel that I've got the eyes and ears of my peers in the General Assembly now," Gilliard said. "But this is not only about one unfortunate incident. This is about all the people in the past, too."

Allison Griffor, a kindergartner at Drayton Hall Elementary School, died following an attempted home invasion Oct. 25 at her family's house on Pierpont Avenue in West Ashley. Someone kicked the front door at around 1 a.m. and, as Allison's father walked toward the noise, the intruder opened fire with a shotgun.

Several buckshot pellets traveled through the door, through a wall and into Allison's head as the little girl slept in her bed in a room she shared with her two brothers. She died two days later at Medical University Hospital after brain scans failed to show any activity.

State Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston, said the bill must survive hearings in a House subcommittee and full committee before going to the House floor and then repeating the process in the Senate. The first steps toward passing the law could begin as early as January.

"Rep. Gilliard and I are both trying to garner as much attention as we can for this situation," Limehouse said. "Neither one of us knew her, but we feel like we've known her. We're heartbroken."

Limehouse said he also hopes to see some Charleston County property, perhaps a park, named for Allison.

"We want to do everything we can to bring something positive from her senseless death," Limehouse said. "Hopefully, we can pattern something positive from this terrible situation."