Cannon Hinnant's mother Bonny wants the death penalty for the suspect Darius Sessoms, who was their neighbor.
There is no parent who would rest easy when their child is killed off senselessly by someone without an apparent reason. Most parents would fight for justice for their child no matter what but when their child is hurt, they are likely to go after the person who hurt them. Cannon Hinnant's mother is no different. The 5-year-old North Carolina boy's death shocked the community and his family and they are still trying to make sense of it.
Cannon was outside on his bike playing with his two sisters, who are 8 and 7, at around 5:33 p.m. on August 9 in Wilson, North Carolina, the police said. Authorities allege that 25-year-old Darius Sessoms exited his residence, walked up to the boy, and shot him point-blank in the head.
"My baby didn’t deserve this,” said his mother, Bonny Waddell, to WRAL. "He had the biggest smile, the biggest eyes. We lost a big piece of our family. We all... He changed all of our lives. He touched everybody he knew."
After his funeral, in a Facebook post, she wrote, "Now that my sweet baby angel has been laid to rest, It’s time for me stand up and be Cannons voice like I always have been... he is depending on his mommy and he knows mommy has got this. I WILL FIGHT, MY BABY AND OUR FAMILY WILL GET THE JUSTICE MY BABY DESERVES."
"I want death penalty and I’m gonna seek it," Cannon's mother told WRAL.
The boy's father, Austin, was at home on the day of the incident. When he first heard the shot, he went out to check on his children. "The first thing that went through my mind was maybe he just fell off his bike," he told WRAL. "The closer I got to him, the more I realized it was something far more serious."
The family is left confused as to why Darius, with whom they had neighborly relations, would do this. Austin even had dinner with him the previous night. "The Lord says to love our neighbor. I have plenty of food to go around. I just wanted to be nice," he explained. "There wasn't anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this."
"They were just playing in the yard like any other day," said the shocked dad. When he saw his son lying on the ground on August 9, he scooped him up. "I screamed, 'Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please,'" he said.
A neighbor came to help him with an EMT bag, which is when he fell to his knees and prayed aloud. "[You] can't imagine what it's like to hold your son in your arms with a gunshot wound to the head, and his blood is running down your arms," he said.
Darius was still there pacing with the gun before driving off. "I was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon," he said. "I was so full of rage, but I couldn't leave my son's side. I wanted to be with my son."
The father said that he doesn't have any idea why his son was killed. "Everybody just loved Cannon. He lit up the room," he said.
Cannon's mother, Bonny, is equally shocked about why this happened to her baby but she is hopeful that the many will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Cannon’s and 7-year-old aunt, who was also there that day, had watched him die in his father's arms. "This man took my girls when he took my baby. They know he’s in a better place,” said Bonny.
One eyewitness said that he thought the suspect had been playing with the children. He ran back to his home after the shooting and the 25-year-old then allegedly fled the area in a 2019 Toyota Corolla. Police found him on August 10 night, inside a home in Goldsboro.
A GoFundMe campaign was created to support Cannon's family. They described their boy as a "precious angel" who was "merely doing what he would do any other day and that's playing with his sisters, riding his bike, doing what kids do and all of the innocence that comes with being a child."
The family "has faced unimaginable pain because of this senseless act of violence." Our hearts go out to the poor boy's departed soul and the family that is currently grieving his death.