Father Of 5-Year-Old North Carolina Boy Shot And Killed Says Suspect Was Neighbor For 8 Years; Father Had Dinner With Him The Day Before

The father of a young boy is grieving over the loss of his son, who was shot and killed.

To make matters worse, the father, Austin Hinnant, knows the suspect and says he had dinner with him the night before his son’s death.

On August 9, 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant was riding his bike in front of his father’s Wilson, NC home with his two older sisters when the suspect and neighbor Darius Sessoms walked up to him and shot him in the head, witnesses told police.

According to CNN, Austin Hinnant was inside his home when he heard the gunshots. “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.”

He says he cradled his son in his arms and pleaded for help, “I screamed, ‘Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please,'” he told CNN affiliate WRAL.

Austin says he saw Sessoms in the yard next door with a gun in his hand, pacing and frantic. He said he was filled with rage as he looked at the suspect—but he couldn’t leave his son’s side.

“[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,” he said.

Sessoms, 25, and the victim’s family had no bad blood, in fact, Hinnant said the suspect was over for dinner the day before the incident. Both men sat on Hinnant’s porch and sipped beer.

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

Police have not released information on the motive, and the father says he doesn’t know why his son was killed.

After the shooting, Hinnant’s fiancé called 911, and a neighbor with an EMT bag rushed to help, while Sessoms drove away.

Cannon was transported to the hospital.

On Monday, Sessoms was arrested 30 minutes outside of Wilson, at a Goldsboro residence and has been charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond.

8-year-old killed by neighbor

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