“For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”
Posted 7:42 p.m. SundayUpdated August 11, 2020
By Sloane Heffernan, Kasey Cunningham and Aaron Thomas, WRAL reporters
Wilson, N.C. — A Wilson man was in custody Monday night, about 24 hours after police said he shot and killed a 5-year-old boy.
Darius N. Sessoms, 25, was apprehended in Goldsboro by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Goldsboro police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with first-degree murder and was being held without bond in the Wilson County jail.
During a brief court hearing Tuesday morning, he said he planned to hire his own lawyer and rejected an attempt to have a judge appoint an attorney for him.
Police were called to a shooting in a neighborhood in the 5100 block of Archers Road just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Family members said Cannon Hinnant was playing outside his father’s house when he was shot in the head. The boy’s two sisters, ages 8 and 7, saw their brother get shot, according to Cannon’s mother.
Cannon was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
No details about a possible motive for the shooting have been released, but police said the shooting wasn’t random.
Sessoms lives next door to Cannon’s father, and a neighbor said that the two men had dinner together Saturday night and that Sessoms was at his neighbor’s home earlier Sunday.
Doris Lybrand, who witnessed the shooting, said Sessoms ran up to Cannon, put the gun near his head and fired before running back to his own house.
“My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids,” Lybrand said. “For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”
She said she realized the gun was real when she saw Cannon’s father’s reaction to the shooting, and she quickly went inside her home, locked the door and tried to call 911.
You don’t expect to see somebody shoot someone,” she said.
Cannon’s grandmother said the family was happy to know that Sessoms had been arrested, but they’re devastated by the young boy’s senseless killing.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.