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Father mourning 5-year-old son who was shot, killed in yard: 'He lit up the room'

Father mourning 5-year-old son who was shot, killed in yard: 'He lit up the room'
Father mourning 5-year-old son who was shot, killed in yard: 'He lit up the room'
Posted at 1:34 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 15:54:16-04

WILSON, N.C. – The father of a 5-year-old boy who was fatally shot outside his North Carolina home says he cannot understand why someone would want to harm his son.

Austin Hinnant told WRAL that his son, Cannon, was playing on his bike in the yard of their Wilson home when he heard a gunshot while inside.

Hinnant says he ran outside and found Cannon suffering from a gunshot wound to his head. He scooped his son up in his arms and screamed for someone to help.

The father claims he looked up and saw his neighbor, Darius Sessoms, in the yard next door, with a gun in his hand, pacing.

"I was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon,” Hinnant told WRAL. “I was so full of rage, but I couldn't leave my son's side. I wanted to be with my son."

The boy was rushed to an area hospital, where he later died.

A warrant was issued for Sessoms and police say he was taken into custody on Monday. The 25-year-old has been charged with 1st degree murder and is being held without bond.

Sessoms doesn’t appear to be a stranger to the family. Hinnant says he had Sessoms over for dinner just the night before.

"I have no idea why he would kill my son in front of his two sisters and his cousin,” Hinnant told WRAL. “I have no idea."

Law enforcement has not provided any details regarding a possible motive for Cannon’s murder.

A funeral for the little boy was held Thursday. WNCN reports that hundreds gathered at the Shingleton Funeral Home in Wilson to pay their respects, including Cannon’s grandmother, Merrill Race.

Race told WNCN that Cannon was “just a kid trying to have fun in his own yard and something like this happens. It’s despicable.”

"Everybody just loved Cannon. He lit up the room," said Hinnant, according to WRAL.

    CNN contributed to this report.