‘My baby didn’t deserve this’: Mother shares heartbreak after 5-year-old fatally shot in N.C.

Cannon Hinnant, 5, was shot to death in North Carolina.
Cannon Hinnant, 5, was shot to death in North Carolina.(Source: WRAL/Bonny Waddell/Wilson County Sheriff/CNN)
Published: Aug. 16, 2020 at 2:03 PM EDT
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WILSON, N.C. (WRAL) – A family is grieving for a 5-year-old boy who was shot to death in North Carolina.

Police say Cannon Hinnant didn’t die from a stray bullet or a neglected firearm.

They say a neighbor walked up to the child while he was playing outside with his siblings and shot him in the head.

“My baby didn’t deserve this,” said Cannon’s mother Bonny Waddell at a vigil on Friday. “He had the biggest smile, the biggest eyes.”

Waddell said she lost a piece of her heart last Sunday.

“We lost a big piece of our family,” she said. “He changed all of our lives. He touched everybody that he knew.”

For Waddell, it’s a day too hard to recount, not only for Waddell, but for Cannon’s two sisters and a 7-year-old aunt who watched him die.

“This man took my girls when he took my baby,” Waddell said. “They know that he’s in a better place.”

While 25-year-old Darius Sessoms is in jail, facing a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly killing Cannon, family and friends say there’s still justice they want to see.

"I want the death penalty, and I'm going to seek it," Waddell said.

Austin Hinnant, Cannon’s father, said: “I agree with Cannon’s mother that we are going to seek the death penalty.”

With a GoFundMe that’s now over $700,000, Cannon’s family plan to remember him the best way they know how.

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

While grief and questions weigh on Waddell’s heart, she knows there’s a greater plan.

"Cannon's going to change this world," she said.

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