A 25-year-old man charged in shooting death of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant

Darius Sessoms, Cnn Image From Wilson Police Department
Police have charged a 25-year-old man with first-degree murder after they say he shot and killed a 5-year-old boy last week in Wilson, North Carolina. (Photo from Wilson Police Department)

Police have charged a 25-year-old man with first-degree murder after they say he shot and killed a 5-year-old boy last week in Wilson, North Carolina.

Austin Hinnant told CNN affiliate WRAL he was inside the home when his son, Cannon, was playing outside and was shot.

Hinnant says he ran outside and scooped up the injured child and held him in his arms.

“I screamed ‘somebody help me, please help me save my son,'” he said.

Hinnant told the affiliate he looked up and saw his neighbor, Darius Sessoms, in the yard next door with a gun in hand, pacing and frantic.

“I was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon, and I was so full of rage, but I could not leave my son’s side,” he said. “I just wanted to be with my son.”

Hinnant’s fiancé called 911, he said, and Sessoms drove away.

In a news release, the Wilson Police Department said officers were dispatched to the 5100 block of Archers Road on August 9 in reference to a shooting and found a 5-year-old suffering a gunshot wound, who later died at a nearby hospital.

Police identified Sessoms as a suspect and arrested him after he was found Monday in a Goldsboro residence about 30 minutes south of Wilson. It is unclear if Sessoms has an attorney.


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WILSON, N.C. (FOX8) — A North Carolina man has been arrested after allegedly walking up to a 5-year-old neighbor boy who was playing outside and shooting him in the head.

The incident was reported just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Wilson, North Carolina, according to a news release from Wilson police.

“Officers arrived on the scene and located 5-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound,” the news release said.

Cannon Hinnant was taken to a local hospital but later died, the news release said.

A murder warrant was been issued for Darius N. Sessoms, of Wilson. He was taken into custody Monday and charged with first-degree murder, WRAL reports.

A neighbor told WRAL that Sessoms ran up to the boy, put the gun near his head and fired. He then ran back to his own home next door.

“My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids,” Doris Lybrand said. “For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”

She then saw the little boy’s father react.

Hinnant’s two sisters, ages 8 and 7, saw the shooting.

WRAL reports that Sessoms and the boy’s father had dinner together Saturday night and that Sessoms was at their home earlier Sunday.

Frank Harvey, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years, says he’s never seen anything like the scene Sunday.

“It’s usually quiet here. You might hear cars kind of loud and stuff like that, but as far as this right here going on, no, you don’t see nothing like this,” said Harvey. “It’s sad, it hurts and justice needs to be served.”