A GoFundMe for 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant has raised more than $729,000 in several days after the boy was shot and killed outside his home by a neighbor in what appears to be an unprovoked attack.
“On Sunday, August 9th, this precious angel was playing outside with his siblings when he was murdered,” according to the page. “He was merely doing what he would do any other day and that’s playing with his sisters, riding his bike, doing what kids do and all of the innocence that comes with being a child.”
It adds: “This family has faced unimaginable pain because of this senseless act of violence. We are asking for your donations to assist with anything that may be needed for expenses related to his services. We offer our sincerest appreciation in this extremely difficult time.”
Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, 25, was arrested Monday and is in the custody of Wilson Police in North Carolina and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Task Force, The Wilson Times reported. Sessoms, who was found in a home in Goldsboro, is charged with first-degree murder.
Wilson County District Court Judge John Britt told Sessoms during a virtual hearing on Tuesday that he has a right to represent himself, hire a lawyer or he could ask for a court-appointed lawyer. Sessoms, who is being held in the Wilson County jail without bond, said he wanted to try to hire a lawyer.
Doris Lybrand, who saw the shooting, told WRAL that the suspect ran up to the child and fired a shot 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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.