5-year-old shot, killed in front yard remembered by community; 25-year-old charged

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WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A 25-year-old North Carolina man has been charged with first-degree murder after a 5-year-old boy was shot and killed while playing in his own front yard, according to WNCN.

The community in Wilson, North Carolina, came together Thursday to say goodbye to Cannon Hinnant. His neighbor is charged with murder

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

“We shouldn’t even be here,” said Merrill Race, Cannon’s great grandfather.

Hundreds came out to the Shingleton Funeral Home in Wilson to pay their respects to the boy. 

“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.”

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. His family said Cannon was riding his bike in the front yard when he was shot at point-blank range.

Wilson police identifed the Hinnant’s neighbor, Darrius Sessoms, 25, as the suspect. He was arrested Monday in Goldsboro. 

Cannon’s father said Sessoms lived next door to them for years.

The boy’s father said they had shared a beer the night before. The family told WNCN there was no history of fights or animosity.

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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