A 5-year-old boy was allegedly executed at “point-blank” range with a gunshot to the head by a convicted felon while playing with his sisters outside his house on Sunday evening in Wilson, North Carolina.
5-year-old Cannon Hinnant’s brutal murder was reportedly witnessed by his two young sisters and a neighbor who couldn’t believe what she saw.
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“I saw him just run right up to him and [he] put the gun right up to his head and shot him,” neighbor Doris Labrant told WRAL.
Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, who is the Hinnant’s next-door neighbor, is being charged with first-degree murder.
Family members said Cannon Hinnant was playing outside his father’s house when he was shot in the head. The boy’s two sisters, ages 8 and 7, saw their brother get shot, according to Cannon’s mother.
Cannon was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
No details about a possible motive for the shooting have been released, but police said the shooting wasn’t random.
Sessoms lives next door to Cannon’s father, and a neighbor said that the two men had dinner together Saturday night and that Sessoms was at his neighbor’s home earlier Sunday.
Doris Labrant, who witnessed the shooting, said Sessoms ran up to Cannon, put the gun near his head and fired before running back to his own house.
“My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids,” Labrant said. “For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”
She said she realized the gun was real when she saw Cannon’s father’s reaction to the shooting, and she quickly went inside her home, locked the door and tried to call 911.
“You don’t expect to see somebody shoot someone,” she said.
WRAL released a follow-up report after Sessoms was caught by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Goldsboro police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office:
“Sessoms was convicted of felony larceny of firearms in Wilson County in March 2016, misdemeanor maintaining a place for a controlled substance in Wake County in April 2016 and felony marijuana possession in Nash County in November 2016, according to N.C. Department of Public Safety records,” The Wilson Times reported. “His probation was revoked twice in 2017, resulting in separate three-month stints in prison.”
“Court records show Sessoms has two pending counts of felony maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance in Wilson County.”
Cannon’s family and friends are demanding “Justice For Cannon” on social media.
“Cannon’s life mattered!!!” wrote Heather Morgan on Facebook. “My 3 yr old grandson says to me ‘Mimi, I miss Cannon so much. Why did he have to be in that road Mimi? I just want to play with him.'”
“Please join his family and show them they have all the support they could possibly have through this unbearable time,” Morgan said.