A North Caorlina man is accused of shooting a 5-year-old boy in the head on Sunday, killing him.
Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, 25, was arrested on Monday and charged with first-degree murder, online jail records show. Sessoms became a fugitive from justice following the shooting death of his 5-year-old neighbor, Cannon Hinnant.
Police were called to a residential area in Wilson at around 5:30 p.m. in response to reports of a shooting, local outlet WNCN reports. Upon their arrival, officers and first responders found a little boy suffering from a gunshot wound and began life-saving efforts, according to the outlet. They rushed the child to Wilson Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Hinnant was playing outside his father's house with his two sisters, age 7 and 8, when he was killed, WRAL reports. Doris Lybrand, a witness to the shooting, reported seeing Sessoms, who lived next door to Hinnant's father, running outside and placing a gun to the child's head; he then allegedly shot the child before running back inside, the outlet reports.
"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 realized what had happened after seeing the reaction of Cannon's father, and quickly ran inside to call 911, she said.
Sessoms was arrested the following day at a home in Goldsboro, The Wilson Times reports. He has been previously convicted on firearm and drug-related charges, and has served two separate prison sentences for probation violations.
Sessoms was reportedly seen having dinner with the victim's father the day before the shooting, and was observed at the victim's father's house hours before the murder, WRAL reports. Police have stated that the shooting was not random, but an alleged motive has not yet been announced. The Wilson Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
Hinnant died a week before starting kindergarten, The Wilson Times reports. The family are in mourning for the child his mother described as "a loving kid."
Sessoms appeared in court on Tuesday via a virtual hearing, where he was informed of his rights to legal representation, according to WRAL. He said then that he would be attempting to hire an attorney for his defense.
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