Although police have arrested the neighbor of a North Carolina boy in the 5-year-old’s slaying this week, the boy’s tragic death remains shrouded in mystery.
Darius Sessoms, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Cannon Hinnat, who was shot and killed Sunday while riding his bicycle in front of his Wilson home, according to a news release from the Wilson Police Department.
Sessoms was arrested in nearby Goldsboro, police said.
He is being held without bond in the Wilson County Jail.
Police have released no details about a motive in the shooting other than to say it was not a random act.
In the aftermath of the horrific killing, many raised questions about why it was largely sloughed off by the mainstream media.
No media frenzy
No televised state funeral
No gold casket
No celebrities speaking out
— Autonomous Covfefe (@Paul52298361) August 12, 2020
George Floyd was a 46-year old felon, high on Fentanyl, and he got 4 televised funerals and 70 days of riots.
What does 5-year old Cannon Hinnant get?
— Eric Matheny🎙 (@EricMMatheny) August 12, 2020
Privilege is defined as being able to have your funeral covered by news, given a folded American flag and have a golden casket. All cause the color of his skin but Cannon Hinnant gets none of that R.I.P. baby boy #SayHisName
— Tyler (@Mustang_GT03_) August 14, 2020
As he prepared for the funeral of his child Thursday, Austin Hinnant, the boy’s father, said he had no idea why Cannon was killed.
Hinnant has lived next door to the suspect and his parents for eight years, he told WRAL-TV. Sessoms dined with the Hinnant family on Saturday.
“The Lord says to love our neighbor. I have plenty of food to go around. I just wanted to be nice,” Hinnant said.
There were no rifts between neighbors, he said. “There wasn’t anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this,” he said.
Hinnant has said he saw Sessoms with a gun in his hand after the boy was shot.
“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. [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,” he said.
“I screamed, ‘Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please,'” Hinnant said.
On TV: At 4: Father of slain 5-year-old: ‘Everybody loved Cannon. He lit up the room.’ https://t.co/beTNMCaE7C
— WRAL NEWS in NC (@WRAL) August 13, 2020
Witness Doris Lybrand said the suspect put a gun to the boy’s head and fired, then ran back to his house, according to WRAL.
“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.”
Then she realized what had happened.
“You don’t expect to see somebody shoot someone,” Lybrand said.
Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly said Cannon’s shooting death took place last week.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.