Mother of Slain Cannon Hinnant Says Son’s Killing Not a Race Issue

August 20, 2020 Updated: August 20, 2020

The mother of the 5-year-old North Carolina boy who was shot and killed by a neighbor last week said the incident had nothing to do with race.

“It’s just, it’s devastating,” Bonny Waddell said, according to WNCN-TV. “This is not a race issue. This was a, I don’t even know what it was,” she said.

Her son, Cannon Hinnant, was allegedly shot and killed by neighbor Darius Sessoms in Wilson County. Cannon is white and Sessoms is black.

Waddell was responding to claims made on social media that race played a role in the case.

Sessoms, 25, was charged with murder in the case.

“He was my neighbor for years … we always spoke when we seen each other. It was, we never, never ever had arguments with each other,” Waddell said.

She added that it’s not clear why the suspect attacked her child.

“I don’t understand. I can’t wrap my head around it,” Waddell said. In the interview, she said that she hopes a playground is built in Cannon’s name.

Cannon’s father Austin Hinnant also said he was disturbed by social media posts that suggested race factored in.

He told the Wilson Times: “This is no racial issue.” The father said that he and Sessoms recently ate dinner together.

“I have no idea why he did what he did,” Hinnant said. “It was literally out of nowhere. He puts a gun to my son’s head and shoots him.”

Meanwhile, the Wilson Police Department issued warnings on social media about false information surrounding the boy’s slaying.

Sessoms’ parents told Fox6 they believe their son was under the influence of drugs and having hallucinations in the moments leading up to the shooting.

A GoFundMe page for the boy’s family has reached more than $800,000.