Local News

Police plead for tips in Weldon 2-year-old's 'horrific' shooting death

Posted August 8, 2014 11:30 a.m. EDT
Updated August 8, 2014 5:14 p.m. EDT

— Weldon's police chief on Friday pleaded with the public for information to help investigators solve the "horrific" shooting of a 2-year-old girl who was asleep in a bed when she was killed and her grandmother critically injured.

Dyana Anderson was shot in the face around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at her home at 606 Cedar St., in what Chief Mark Macon said was a deliberate act.

"Before early Tuesday, Dyana had her whole life before her. Some evil person or persons decided to take it away," Macon said, surrounded by the child's mother, grandfather and other relatives. "She will never have an opportunity to attend school, grow up or become a productive citizen."

Macon wouldn't comment on a motive for the shooting but said whoever shot the toddler was familiar with the home and the Cedar Street area.

"I do not believe this was a random act," he said, declining to speculate if the child was the intended victim or if the shooting was some kind of retaliation or gang-involved.

Detectives have physical evidence that they hope will be of value, he said, and although they've heard from people in the community, they still need people to come forward to help them solve the case.

"We want the public to please come forward and help us, because our innocence baby got killed," Torie Ponton, Dyana's great aunt, said.

"We need for the person who did this to come forward, because, evidently, they're just heartless people to have killed a 2-year-old child to not come forward. (They have) no conscience, and they just don't have no remorse to what's going on."

Anyone with information that could help investigators should call the Weldon Police Department at 252-536-3136.

Meanwhile on Friday, Halifax County authorities were investigating what they say is a related case involving 15-year-old Keyeon Garner, who was shot late Monday less than a mile from Cedar Street.

In that investigation, deputies are looking for Dyana's uncle, Teddy Keith Anderson Jr., 18, who is the second suspect charged.

Semaj Tojuan Clanton, 19, of Garysburg, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the shootings of two people who were with Garner.

Those victims were treated at a local hospital and later released.

Macon wouldn't say Friday if Weldon police investigators suspect Clanton or Anderson in the shootings involving Dyana or her grandmother, Catherine Price.

Price, 54, was still recovering at a hospital, where she was listed in fair condition Friday afternoon. Her husband, Larry Price, said Friday that she was shot seven times in her head and lower body.

"She's coming along good," he said.