Parents of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant want death penalty for man accused of murdering their son

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Darius Sessoms

WILSON, North Carolina (WJW/CNN) — The parents of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant said they want the death penalty for their son’s killer.

“I want the death penalty, and I’m going to seek it,” said Cannon’s mom, Bonny Waddell.

Cannon was riding his bike Aug. 9 outside his father’s home in Wilson, North Carolina, when a man walked up to him and shot him in the head, witnesses told police. Cannon was with his sisters, ages 7 and 8, when the shooting happened.

Police say 25-year-old Darrius Sessoms shot the little boy in the head while he was riding his bike.

Sessoms, who is the Hinnants’ neighbor, is charged with murder, according to police.

The little boy’s father, Austin Hinnant, said Sessoms lived next door for eight years and actually shared dinner with him a day before the shooting.

Austin was in the house when he heard the shot go off.

“The first thing that went through my mind was maybe he just fell off his bike,” he said. “The closer I got to him, the more I realized it was something far more serious.”

Sessoms was in the yard next door with a gun in hand, pacing and frantic, Austin said.

Sessoms and the victim’s family had no issues, Austin said.

“There wasn’t anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this,” he said.

Police have not released a motive.

With a GoFundMe that is at over $700,000, the family plans to remember Cannon the best way they know how.

“We’ve discussed a memorial park for Cannon where kids can go and ride their bikes, because he loved that so much,” said his grandmother, Gwen Hinnant.

Cannon’s mother said her daughters know Cannon is in a better place. She said she knows there is a greater plan.

“Cannon’s going to change this world,” she said.

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