WILSON, N.C. (WSET) — The 5-year-old boy who was shot to death outside his father's home in Wilson, North Carolina has been laid to rest.
Witnesses told police that Cannon Hinnant was riding a bike when his father's neighbor walked up to him and shot him in the head in front of his two sisters, ages 8 and 7.
Capt. Steve Stroud with the Wilson Police Department said officers and emergency personnel performed first aid before the boy was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
"They were just playing in the yard like any other day," Austin Hinnant, Cannon's father, told WRAL.
A neighbor, who told WRAL she witnessed the shooting from her window, said Sessoms ran up to Cannon and put the gun to his head before running back into his own home. She called 911 after seeing Austin's reaction.
"The first thing that went through my mind was maybe he just fell off his bike," Austin said after he heard gunshots. "The closer I got to him, the more I realized it was something far more serious."
Police said 25-year-old Darius Nathaniel Sessoms was arrested Monday. He's charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.
Austin told the news station that Sessoms had been over to his home the day before, sat on his porch and drank beer, and they have lived next to each other for eight years.
"The Lord says to love our neighbor. I have plenty of food to go around. I just wanted to be nice," Hinnant said. "There wasn't anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this."
After Cannon was shot, Austin said he scooped him up into his arms and screamed.
"I screamed, 'Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please,'" he told WRAL. "[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."
Austin said he doesn't know why Sessoms killed Cannon and police have not released any details as to a possible motive.
During Cannon's funeral Thursday, his youth pastor and grandfather talked about his big smile and his even bigger heart.
"Cannon was the type of kid that was always polite kind of laid back but he was a beautiful little kid," Merrill Race, his grandfather told WRAL. "I'm glad that people are showing up and coming out and show they got his back and they care, we need more of this and less of this hate."
Family, friends, and pastors said they are trying to help lift up Cannon's family as they wait for answers in Cannon's death.
"The only thing I keep thinking of is a scripture that comes to my heart Psalm 34:18 that says God is close to the broken hearted," said Bobby Harrell, the campus pastor of Wave Church in Wilson. "That's what I want people to know when we are hurting God longs to be close to us."
A candlelight vigil was set for Friday, but the family has postponed it.
Sessoms' parents told WRAL they are deeply saddened about what happened and believe he was on drugs and having hallucinations.
A GoFundMe, created for the Hinnant family, shows Cannon was set to start kindergarten this year. Gwen Hinnant, a relative of Cannon's family, said she wanted it to help with funeral expenses and any help along the way for Cannon's parents.