CANNON Hinnant was fatally shot while bike riding at his home in North Carolina on Sunday, according to his family.
Investigators alleged the five-year-old was shot at "point-blank" range by his neighbor, Darius Sessoms, 25.
Who was five-year-old Cannon Hinnant?
Cannon was described as “just a loving kid” after his shooting death over the weekend.
His mother said the child – who was set to start kindergarten on Monday – “had the biggest heart.”
Who shot him and why?
Police have accused Cannon’s neighbor, Sessoms, of killing the boy.
The child was playing as his two sisters watched on when he apparently rode into Sessoms' yard, located in Wilson, located roughly 50 miles east of Raleigh.
Sessoms then allegedly shot the boy – while Cannon’s sisters, ages seven and eight, watched.
A neighbor told WRAL that Sessoms lives next to Cannon’s dad, and said the two men had dinner together on Saturday night.
The neighbor said Sessoms was at Cannon’s home earlier in the day on Sunday.
Witness Doris Lybrand said Sessoms ran up to Cannon in the yard over the weekend and put the gun to his head.
Sessoms allegedly fired his weapon before running back to his own house next door.
Lybrand said: "My first reaction was, ‘He's playing with the kids.’”
“For a second, I thought, 'That couldn't happen.' People don't run across the street and kill kids."
The witness said she realized the gun was real when she saw Cannon’s father’s reaction to what happened.
Lybrand said she ran inside and called 911.
"You don't expect to see somebody shoot someone," she told WRAL.
The family reportedly knew Sessoms for many years.
Cannon was rushed to the hospital after the shooting, where he was pronounce dead.
What has his family said about the tragic incident?
Cannon’s mom has said their family is devastated at the boy’s death.
"He was just a loving kid," mom Bonny Waddell told The Wilson Times.
"He had the biggest heart. It's devastating. No one should ever have to bury their child. No mother should have to go through this."
She said Cannon had just learned how to write his name before he was supposed to head off for his first day of school on Monday.
According to his family, Cannon loved his bikes, siblings, animals, and being outside.
"He always had a smile on his face," his grandmother said. "I can see him right now. Beautiful soul. He wasn't scared of anything. He was very courageous.”
Rachel Pipkin, a cousin of Cannon’s mom, told WNCN that she used to play with Sessoms.
“I never thought he’d kill someone. A mother now has to lay her son to rest at five years old which she should never have to do,” Pipkin said. “He’ll never be forgotten.”
What happened to Cannon Hinnant?
Cannon Hinnant, five, was shot while riding his bike at home in Wilson, North Carolina, on Sunday evening.
Police have alleged that his neighbor, 25-year-old Darius Sessoms, shot him at 'point-blank' range after he rode his bike onto his property.
Cannon was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
On Monday, the town mayor paid tribute to Cannon and said his heart broke after revealing he had a five-year-old child as well.
Mayor Carlton Stevens said: I went home right then and I took my baby and just hugged her.”
What happened to the man who allegedly shot Cannon?
Police said on Monday they arrested Sessoms on a first-degree murder charge.
He was in the custody of the local police department and members of the US Marshals' Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force.
He is currently being held without bond and made his first appearance in court on Tuesday morning.
Per The Wilson Times, Sessoms was convicted in March 2016 of felony larceny of firearms.
In April 2016, he was convicted of misdemeanor maintaining a place for a controlled substance, and felony marijuana possession in November 2016.
Cannon’s family has said Sessoms’ arrest doesn’t bring their boy back, but his arrest is allowing them to start to heal from the shooting.
How do I donate to Cannon Hinnant’s GoFundMe page?
Two GoFundMe pages have been set up for Cannon’s family, one by the boy’s father’s cousin, Christina Prezioso, and another by someone named Gwen Hinnant.
Prezioso wrote that, “Nothing prepares a parent for the loss of their child. No child should ever have their future stolen from them.”
She said she started the GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses for Cannon’s family.
Gwen Hinnant wrote: This family has faced unimaginable pain because of this senseless act of violence. We are asking for your donations to assist with anything that may be needed for expenses related to his services.”
GoFundMe did not immediately return The Sun’s request for comment about the separate fundraisers.
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