Family remembers 5-year-old North Carolina boy killed, suspect makes court appearance

National News

Courtesy: WTVO

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — The community in Wilson, North Carolina came together Thursday night to say goodbye to one of their own.

Cannon Hinnant was just five years old. He was shot and killed in his own front yard. His neighbor is charged with murder. 

Cannon’s family and friends are devastated. They’re still trying to wrap their minds around the loss. 

“We shouldn’t even be here,” Merrill Race said.

Race is Cannon’s great grandfather. 

Hundreds came out to the Shingleton Funeral Home in Wilson. 

“Just a kid trying to have fun in his own yard and something like this happens. It’s despicable,” Race said.

Race said he was with Cannon just a few weekends ago. He said the 5 year old loved his bike and his two sisters. 


“This guy took something away from us that should have never happened,” he explained.

“The words to explain… everything, he just loved everything. Everybody,” Lee Parker, Cannon’s stepfather said. “I could sit here for days, I just there are no words or no amount of money that’s going to bring him back,” he continued.

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday on Archers Road. His family said Cannon was riding his bike in the front yard when their neighbor, Darrius Sessoms, 25, approached, shooting him in the head. Sessoms then took off. He was arrested Monday in Goldsboro. 

Sessoms had his first court appearance Tuesday. He is charged with first-degree murder in the case.

On Tuesday, Sessoms appeared for about 10 minutes via video conference before a judge.

The judge formally advised Sessoms on the charges against him.

Sessoms has a probable cause hearing scheduled for Aug. 25.

Cannon’s father said Sessoms lived next door to them for years. That they’d shared a beer the night before. The family told CBS 17 there was no history of fights or animosity. None of it added up. 

While the grief is overwhelming, the family said the support they’ve received from the community in Wilson and beyond has helped. 

“It’s amazing. It’s amazing. And the things that people have done for us, all around from Australia, Ohio, Colorado. I mean it don’t stop. It’s all around the world,” Parker said.

A community vigil that was planned for Friday evening has been postponed at the family’s request. They said they hope to hold some kind of gathering in about two weeks. 

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(This story was originally published on August 14, 2020) 

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