The father of a 5-year-old boy who was shot in front of his two sisters has spoken out and said he has ‘no idea’ why their neighbor targeted his son.
25-year-old Darius Sessoms is charged with the murder of Cannon Hinnant after the incident left authorities searching for a motive and the entire local community shocked.
The young boy’s devastated father, Austin, said he has lived next to Sessoms and his parents for eight long years. Even though he would not say they became friends, there were no previous arguments between them and ‘no bad blood whatsoever.’
Austin is still confused and devastated after revealing the shooter shared a beer with him on a porch only hours after he targeted Cannon in front of his two sisters as the child rode his bicycle.
In an interview with WRAL, Austin said: “I have no idea why he would kill my son in front of his two sisters and his cousin, no idea.
“There was never anything between me and him, no bad blood whatsoever for him to have a reason to do this.”
The grieving father said he even had a good relationship with Sessoms’ parents and he would regularly check in on them to see how they were doing.
The night before the incident, Austin said he had invited Sessoms over for dinner after seeing him in his car and seemed like he was thinking of a lot of things.
“The Lord says to love our neighbor. I have plenty of food to go around. I just wanted to be nice,” Austin said.
“I noticed him sitting in his car, like he had a lot on his mind.”
Austin told the Wilson Times: “I have no idea why he did what he did. It was literally out of nowhere. He puts a gun to my son’s head and shoots him.”
He added: “They were just playing in the yard like any other day.”
Austin’s fiancé had been watching over the children but quickly went inside when they heard a gunshot.
“The first thing that went through my mind was maybe he just fell off his bike,” he shared. “The closer I got to him, the more I realized it was something far more serious.”
“I screamed, ‘Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please’,” he said. “(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.
“I was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon,’ Austin added. ‘I was so full of rage, but I couldn’t leave my son’s side. I wanted to be with my son.”
Sadly, Cannon couldn’t be saved and he passed away.
“Everybody just loved Cannon. He lit up the room,” Austin said, adding that his son passed away while riding his bike, one of the things he loved to do.
“That is why this is so horrific to me,” he expressed. “He was doing something he loved.”
He added: “We are not stopping until the world knows Cannon’s name. We want justice.”
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