Wilson, NC — The funeral services for Cannon Hinnant, the 5-year-old boy shot and killed while playing in his front yard, was held this evening.
Cannon was just getting ready to start ‘real school’ as a kindergarten-er on Monday.
The 25-year-old black man accused of shooting the child in the head at point blank range has been charged with first-degree murder in the boy’s death. Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, was arrested Monday after fleeing the scene and is in the custody of Wilson Police and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Task Force without bond. Sessoms was found hiding in a home in Goldsboro.
The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. in the 5100 block of Archers Road. In the release, Wilson police said officers responded Sunday evening to a report of a shooting at a mobile home park, where they found the boy suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Capt. Steve Stroud said officers and other first responders performed first aid before the boy was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
Family members account that Cannon was on his bike playing outside when he was shot in the head. The boy’s two older sisters – ages seven and eight – saw their brother get shot, according to the mother.
Doris Lybrand, who witnessed the shooting, stated that Sessoms ran up to the boy, put the gun near his head and fired before going back to his own home. Lybrand stated to reporters on the scene, “My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids. For a second, I thought – That couldn’t happen. People don’t run across the street and kill kids.” Sadly, he did.
She said she realized the gun was real when she saw the father’s reaction to the shooting, and she quickly went inside her home, locked the door, and called Emergency 911. “You don’t expect to see somebody shoot someone,” she said.
Frank Harvey, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years, told reporters he’s never seen anything like it. “It’s usually quiet here. You might hear cars kind of loud and stuff like that, but as far as this right here going on, no, you don’t see nothing like this,” Harvey said. “It’s sad. It hurts and definitely justice needs to be served.”
Sessoms has a scheduled court date for August 25. According to Department of Public Safety records, he has been previously convicted of felony larceny of firearms and a separate felony charge of drug possession in 2016. Sessoms had his probation revoked twice in 2017. He served two short prison terms and has another court case pending. His motive for the shooting of the five-year-old has not been given.
VIDEO PACKAGE: AMY CUTLER, WNCN-TV (8/13/20)
The community vigil that was originally scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Friday has been postponed at the family’s request. They said they hope to hold some kind of gathering in about two weeks at the steps of the County Courthouse at 115 Nash Street.
Hinnant’s mother had posted on social media that she wants as many people as possible to show up to the vigil to show love for Cannon. “I want everyone to show up for my baby, if you love me and have any heart at all or loved my child please show up,” she wrote.
A GoFundMe account has been setup #JusticeForCannon. Gwen Hinnant, a relative of Cannon’s family, says she hopes it will assist with funeral expenses and any help the two sisters and parents may need.