A North Carolina father says he has no idea why his neighbor of eight years shot North Carolina boy, Cannon Hinnant, in the head over the weekend.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Task Force arrested Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, 25, on Monday. He’s been charged with murder in connection with the death of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant.
According to officials, the shooting happened at around 5:33 p.m. on Sunday, at 100 Archers Road in Wilson. Family members told police that Cannon was outside on his bike, playing with his sisters, ages 8 and 7, when Sessoms walked up to the boy, pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger.
First responders rushed Cannon to the Wilson Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Cannon’s father, Austin Hinnant, said that his family had no known issues with Sessoms. The suspect even had dinner with Austin Hinnant the day prior to the shooting.
“The Lord says to love our neighbor. I have plenty of food to go around. I just wanted to be nice,” Hinnant said.
“There wasn’t anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this.”
Austin Hinnant said he was inside his home while Cannon and his sisters played out in the front yard. Cannon was riding his bicycle.
“They were just playing in the yard like any other day,” Austin Hinnant told WRAL.
At around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Austin heard a gunshot and walked outside.
“The families were friends,” CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace told Tucker Carlson of Fox News. “There’s never been any bad blood between them at all…I predict this will be a death penalty case.”
“The first thing that went through my mind was maybe he just fell off his bike,” Austin Hinnant said. “The closer I got to him, the more I realized it was something far more serious.”
As Austin dropped to his knees to hold his son, he noticed Sessoms nearby, pacing back and forth with a gun in his hand before he fled the area.
“[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 was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon. I was so full of rage, but I couldn’t leave my son’s side. I wanted to be with my son.”
Sessoms later fled the scene in a 2019 Toyota Corolla, but authorities found him on Monday night, inside a home in Goldsboro. He made a brief appearance in court Tuesday and said he planned to hire his own lawyer.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the shooting should contact the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or contact Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.
A motive for the shooting is unknown at this time.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with burial expenses. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Cannon Hinnant/GoFundMe; Handout]