Funeral held for 5-year-old North Carolina boy killed while outside playing

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WILSON, N.C. — Mourners gathered in Wilson, North Carolina on Thursday to remember the life of five-year-old Cannon Hinnant.

Always polite and laid back, Cannon was a “beautiful little kid” his grandfather told WRAL. He also loved going to Sunday School and knew Jesus, his youth pastor added.

Inside and outside the funeral home, people gathered to remember the child gone too soon and showing support for a family still grieving.

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. He appeared in court on Tuesday where he told a judge he planned to hire his own lawyer.

A witness told WRAL that Sessoms ran up to the boy and shot him in the head before running away.

A motive has not been released.

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