Darius Sessoms Wilson, North Carolina man shoots dead Cannon Hinnant five year old boy dead after riding bicycle into front yard. Motive remains unknown.
A 25 year old North Carolina man has been charged with murder after fatally shooting a five year old boy riding a bike in his own yard at point blank range, Sunday night.
Darius N. Sessoms, 25, was taken into custody by Wilson police around 24 hours after he allegedly approached Cannon Hinnant in front of the young boy’s father’s house at 5:30pm and shot him in the head.
Hinnant’s seven-year-old and eight-year-old sisters witnessed the killing, their mother told WRAL.
Witness Doris Lybrand said Sessoms had run up to the boy, put the gun near his head and pulled the trigger before dashing back to his own house.
‘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.’
Shooting believed not to have been random
Sessoms lived next door to the family, with authorities saying the killing is not thought to have been random. Neighbors claim he had dinner with Hinnant’s father Austin on Friday and had been over at the house earlier on Sunday.
The motive for the killing is still under investigation, but a GoFundMe established by a family member says that the young boy rode into Sessoms’ yard.
‘Sunday, August 9, 2020 a sweet soul named Cannon Hinnant was taken from this world over a senseless act,’ it reads.
‘A beautiful 5 year old baby boy riding his bicycle was shot by his neighbor point blank in Wilson NC. One minute he is enjoying his life, the next it all ends because he rode into his neighbors yard.’
Cannon was set to start kindergarten on Monday and had just learned to write his name.
‘He was just a loving kid,’ his mother 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.’
Victim’s family knew suspect for years
Hinnant’s family said they have known the suspect for years and did not believe he could be capable of murder.
‘We used to play together and I never thought he’d kill someone. 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,’ Rachel Pipkin, a cousin of Cannon’s mother told CBS.
Police were called to the scene on Archers Road at around 5.30pm Sunday where Hinnant was found with a gunshot wound.
Emergency responders tried to save him and he was taken to the Wilson Medical Center but later died.
Sessoms was identified as the suspect.
The neighbor fled the scene in a black 2019 Toyota Corolla and was later located by authorities in a residence in Goldsboro.
Prior criminal record
Police charged him with first degree murder on Monday, and is being held with no bond.
He made his first ten-minute court appearance virtually from Wilson County Jail on Tuesday morning.
A probable cause hearing was set for August 25.
According to the Wilson Times, Sessoms was previously 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.
Court records also show that Sessoms has two pending counts of felony maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance in Wilson County.
Come Sunday night, neighbors gathered around the crime scene, shocked that the killing happened in their quiet neighborhood.
‘Really everybody just wants answers as to why this was done. There will be justice,’ said Allan Wooten, the boy’s uncle.