Darius Sessoms, the 25-year-old North Carolina man accused of fatally shooting a 5-year-old boy who was riding his bike, was indicted last week on the charge of first-degree murder, according to a report.
ABC 11 reported that his next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 24.
Cannon Hinnant, 5, was shot and killed in August 2020 in Wilson, N.C.
Sessoms and the boy’s father were next-door neighbors. Cannon was at his father’s home on his bike when he was shot in front of his two sisters, 7 and 8, WRAL-TV reported.
One person who said she witnessed the shooting told the station at the time that she was looking out her window and watched Sessoms run to Cannon and shoot him in the head at point-blank range. She said her first reaction was that he was playing with the children.
Police said officers responding to a report of a shooting at a mobile home park found the 5-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound. Capt. Steve Stroud said officers and emergency personnel performed first aid before the boy was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died.
“The first thing I see is my son laying on the ground and it crossed my mind that maybe he just fell off his bike. As I got closer to him and I scooped him up in my arms I realized … how horrific it was… I had to scoop my son up and hold him in my arms as blood ran down my arm and all I could do was pray to God,” his father told ABC News.
The Wilson Times reported that records from the N.C. Department of Public Safety show Sessoms was convicted on separate charges in 2016, and his probation was revoked twice in 2017, resulting in separate three-month prison sentences.
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Sessoms’ parents told WRAL that they were deeply saddened by what happened to Cannon. They said they believe their son was on drugs and having hallucinations at the time of the shooting, the station reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report