Wilson, NC – A five-year-old boy was shot by a neighbor in front of his sisters on Sunday and family members said it was all because the little boy rode his bike onto the neighbor’s lawn.
The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 9 at the home of the little boy’s father in the 5100-block of Archers Road, WRAL reported.
Family members said 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant was playing outside with his seven-year-old and eight-year-old sisters when he was shot.
Neighbor Doris Lybrand witnessed the shooting and said she saw 25-year-old Darius Sessoms run up to the little boy, put a gun to his head, and fire, WRAL reported.
“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 neighbor told WRAL that she realized the gun was real and Cannon had been shot when she saw the little boy’s father’s reaction to what had happened.
She said she went back inside, locked herself in, and then called 911.
“You don’t expect to see somebody shoot someone,” Lybrand said.
Cannon was transported to Wilson Medical Center where he later died, WITN reported.
Sessoms fled the scene in a 2019 Toyota Corolla but police tracked him down to a residence on Goldsboro Road, according to the Daily Mail.
He was taken into custody about 24 hours after he shot Cannon and charged with first-degree murder, WITN reported.
Sessoms was held without bond.
Multiple law enforcement agencies including the Goldsboro Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Marshals Service task force worked together to affect Sessoms’ arrest, the Daily Mail reported.
Sessoms lived next door to Cannon’s father, WRAL reported.
A neighbor said Cannon’s father and Sessoms had dinner together the night before he shot the little boy.
They also said the man who would kill Cannon was over at the father’s home earlier in the day on Sunday, WRAL reported.
Cannon’s family said Sessoms grew up on that street and they had known him for many, many years, WNCN reported.
“We used to play together and I never thought he’d kill someone,” Rachel Pipkin, a cousin of the little boy’s mother, said. “A mother now has to lay her son to rest at 5 years old which she should never have to do. He’ll never be forgotten.”
His family said Cannon was supposed to have had his first day of Kindergarten on Monday, WNCN reported.
His mother, Bonnie Waddell, told the Wilson Times that her five year old had just learned to write his name.
“He was just a loving kid,” Waddell said. “He had the biggest heart.”
“It’s devastating,” the grieving mother added. “No one should ever have to bury their child. No mother should have to go through this.”
Police said they do not have a motive in the case but family members told WRAL that they believed Sessoms shot Cannon because the little boy rode his bike onto the neighbor’s lawn.
Sessoms made his first court appearance virtually from the Wilson County Jail on Tuesday before Wilson County District Court Judge John Britt, the Daily Mail reported.
The defendant said he would be getting his own attorney and the probable cause hearing was scheduled for Aug. 25.
Sessoms already had a criminal conviction record before he allegedly murdered his neighbor’s five year old, the Wilson Times reported.
He was convicted of felony larceny of firearms in March of 2016 in Wilson County.
Sessoms was also convicted of misdemeanor maintaining a place for a controlled substance in Wake County a month before that and then he was convicted of felony marijuana possession in November of 2016 in Nash County, the Wilson Times reported.
Court records showed the suspect was charged with two counts of felony maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place for a controlled substance in Wilson County when he shot the little boy.