Virginia vigils mourn loss of 5-year-old boy killed while biking in North Carolina


Cannon Hinnant, 5 (Photo courtesy Hinnant family)

WILSON, N.C. (NewsNation/WRIC) — More than 100 people gathered in central Virginia over the weekend to honor a 5-year-old boy who was fatally shot while riding his bicycle in North Carolina.

The great aunt of Cannon Hinnant held a vigil Sunday in Powhatan, Virginia, which is around 150 miles north of the slain child’s hometown of Wilson, North Carolina.

“It’s not right for somebody to walk up there and shoot a child in the back of the head in front of his sisters,” Diann Frank, Cannon’s great aunt, told NewsNation affiliate WRIC.

Another vigil was held for Cannon in the central Virginia community of Colonial Heights on Sunday, WRIC reported.

The memorials come days after Cannon’s family held a funeral service for the 5-year-old who was fatally shot in his driveway as he rode his bike. A neighbor, 25-year-old Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, has been charged with first-degree murder in his death.

More than $700,000 has been raised to cover funeral service expenses for the family so far, according to a GoFundMe page organized by Gwen Hinnant, who identifies herself on the website as Cannon Hinnant’s grandmother.

“This family has faced unimaginable pain because of this senseless act of violence,” the post read. “We offer our sincerest appreciation in this extremely difficult time, #justice for Cannon.”

Police in North Carolina have warned about false information circulating on social media about the case, including posts that resembled news releases from investigators.

“These are fraudulent posts,” the Wilson Police Department said in a statement while encouraging people to report the fake Facebook posts to the social media company. The department repeated the ask on its Facebook page Saturday and told people to avoid sharing the posts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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