Murder of Cannon Hinnant

Cannon Hinnant was a 5-year-old white boy shot and killed execution-style by a black neighbor, 25-year-old Darius Sessoms.

Murder of Cannon Hinnant
LocationWilson, North Carolina, United States
DateAugust 9, 2020 (wikipedia:Eastern_Time_Zone)
Attack type
VictimCannon Hinnant, 5-year-old white male
AssailantDarius Sessoms, 25-year-old black male
Victim - Cannon Hinnant
Born(2015-04-30)April 30, 2015[1]
DiedAugust 9, 2020(2020-08-09) (aged 5)
Cause of deathGunshot wound
Assailant - Darius Sessoms
Born(1994-11-17)November 17, 1994
Criminal chargeFirst degree murder


Hinnant was playing in his family's yard with his two young sisters and a 7-year-old aunt, when neighbor Doris Labrant witnessed Sessums "ride right up to [Cannon], and put the gun right on his head and shot him."

Labrant said Sessoms then ran back to his own house next door.

"My first reaction was he's playing with the kids," she said. "For a second, I thought, 'That couldn't happen.' People don't run across the street and kill kids."

Labrant then witnessed Hinnant's father Austin Hinnant fly out of house after Cannon was shot. She said he was screaming as he picked up the boy.

No motive has been announced in the killing. Hinnant's mother Bonny Waddell has said she wants Sessoms to get the death penalty for the murder.[2] Waddell has stated the murder "is not a race issue," but added "I don't even know what it was" and "I don't understand. I can't wrap my head around it."[3]

Social media commentary by Rome Smith


Hinnant was supposed to start kindergarten the week after his murder. The 5-year-old had recently learned to write his name, too.[4]

Hinnant's grandmother set up a GoFundMe to help with the family's expenses.[5] As of August 31, 2020 it had raised $813,266, and donations were disabled.

Lack of national news coverage[edit]

Social media noted early on that major national news media such as CNN, NBC, ABC, Reuters and the New York Times were not covering the story:


A black officer at a juvenile detention facility in New Jersey, Rome Smith, was suspended from his job after writing that Hinnant "should've ducked" and "Y'all always trying to sneak diss and discredit a black person being killed innocently by police. Blame cannon's parents for not watching him!!! F Y'ALL."[6]

See also[edit]