Father of Boy Killed by Neighbor Unsure Why He Targeted Son

August 14, 2020 Updated: August 14, 2020

The family of a North Carolina boy, Cannon Hinnant, who was killed by a neighbor said it’s not clear why the child was killed.

“[You] can’t imagine what it’s like to hold your son in your arms with a gunshot wound to the head, and his blood is running down your arms,” the boy’s father, Austin Hinnant, told WRAL-TV during a funeral for Cannon.

“There wasn’t anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this,” Hinnant told the station in reference to the suspect, 25-year-old Darius Sessoms.

Sessoms is accused of approaching the boy while he played in front of his house and shooting him in the head. Reports said that witnesses saw the incident, including the boy’s two sisters, aged 7 and 8.

Hinnant also told the station that he and Sessoms were neighbors, and the night before, they drank a beer on the porch.

On the day of the killing, Hinnant said he ran to Cannon after hearing the gunshot outside the house.

“I screamed, ‘Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me God save my son, please,'” Hinnant said, adding that he saw Sessoms pacing around with a gun in his hand before driving away.

“I was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon,” he said. “I was so full of rage, but I couldn’t leave my son’s side. I wanted to be with my son.”

Epoch Times Photo
Darius Sessoms of North Carolina was arrested and charged with the murder of Cannon Hinnant, a 5-year-old boy. (Wilson Police Department)

Police in Wilson have not released any details about the incident, including a motive for the slaying.

Earlier in the week, police charged Sessoms with first-degree murder and is now being held without bond.

Doris Lybrand, who witnessed the shooting, told WRAL that Sessoms ran up to the boy and shot him point-blank before running back to his house. “My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids,” Lybrand said. “For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”

A GoFundMe page was set up for the child.

“A beautiful 5-year-old baby boy riding his bicycle was shot by his neighbor point blank in Wilson, NC. One minute he is enjoying his life, the next it all ends because he rode into his neighbor’s yard,” the page says. As of Friday, about $300,000 has been raised.