Local News

Family of Cannon Hinnant holding celebration of his life

Posted September 22, 2020 9:29 a.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2020 9:36 a.m. EDT

— The family of Cannon Hinnant, a 5-year-old boy shot and killed while playing outside his father's home on Aug. 9, will celebrate his life with a public event on Saturday.

According to a Facebook event, the celebration will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Big Boy's Truck Stop at 595 Bagley Road in Kenly. There will be "activities for kids, food and fun," according to the event. Everyone is welcome.

Family members said Cannon was riding his bike outside his father's house on Archers Road in August when he was shot in the head. The boy's two sisters, ages 8 and 7, saw their brother get shot, according to Cannon's mother.

Cannon was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.

Darius N. Sessoms, 25, who lived next door to Cannon's father, was charged with first-degree murder. A neighbor said that the two men had dinner together the night before the shooting and that Sessoms was at his neighbor's home earlier that day.

Doris Lybrand, who witnessed the shooting, said she saw Sessoms ran up to Cannon and put the gun near his head before running 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."

Cannon's father, Austin Hinnant, who is white, has said there was no "bad blood" between him and his neighbor, a Black man, and it is still unclear why Sessoms shot the boy.

A GoFundMe page raised over $800,000 for Cannon's funeral expenses, and numerous memorial services and candlelight vigils have been held since his death.

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