WILSON, N.C. (NewsNation) — The murder of a 5-year-old boy in North Carolina led to a community rally calling for an end to violence against children.
Cannon Hinnant’s murder outside of his home on Aug. 9 has unnerved the neighbors on Archers Road and the city of Wilson, 40 miles east of the state’s capital Raleigh.
The event was organized by Hinnant’s family Monday afternoon in his honor, reported NewsNation affiliate WNCN.
“Really everybody just wants answers as to why this was done. There will be justice,” said Allan Wooten, Cannon’s uncle.
Wooten said Cannon was outside with his siblings playing and riding his bicycle when he was allegedly shot by Darius N. Sessoms.
Sessoms, 25, now booked on a first-degree murder charge with no bond following a daylong search, was found at a home in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
The victim’s family said they’ve known the suspect for many years while living near each other.
“We used to play together and I never thought he’d kill someone. A mother now has to lay her son to rest at 5 years old, which she should never have to do. He’ll never be forgotten,” said Rachel Pipkin, a cousin of Cannon’s mother.
The town’s mayor said he was shaken by the tragedy, and came out to pay his respects.
“I have a child that’s 5 years old. My heart broke right then. I went home right then and I took my baby and just hugged her,” said Carlton Stevens, the mayor of Wilson.
The family said Cannon was to begin kindergarten Monday but believe he is now fulfilling “a new mission with a higher power.”
Sessoms’ arrest doesn’t bring Cannon back, said the family, but that it does help them begin the healing process.
A funeral is scheduled Thursday evening, followed by a vigil Friday night on the steps of the Wilson County Courthouse.