Cannon Hinnant, a 5-year-old boy, was fatally shot while riding his bike in North Carolina less than a week ago. He is ‘a child who will be remembered for his humor, energy, and love’, his family said.
“He was very full of life,” – Gwen Hinnant said. A grandma like her needed to be prepared for one of his regular visits — and be ready to play.
It wasn’t only bikes that he loved riding: 4-wheelers, lawnmowers. . . Anything with wheels.
However, his humor is what she remembers most. She laughed, retelling her favorite story.
Cannon, age 4 at the time, was visiting with his 2 older sisters when she knelt down on the floor and asked the boy a question: “Will you take care of me when I’m old?”
“You are already old, grandma,” he answered.
It wasn’t said in a mean spirit. “He loved everybody,” Gwen Hinnant said.
Additionally, he loved water gun battles — and money, she said with a laugh. He was often asking his father, Austin Hinnant, for $2.
Most of the time Cannon lived with his mother, Bonny Waddell, and step-father, Lee Parker. But last weekend, he was visiting his dad, who is Gwen Hinnant’s stepson.
Police haven’t said much about the details of Cannon’s death, other than a man has been charged with his murder.
But a grieving father, Austin Hinnant gave his account to local media.
Cannon was riding his bike when the shooting happened last Sunday, hours after going to church with the family.
Austin was inside when he heard the gunshot. He went outside and ran to his dying son. There, he saw Darius Sessoms, a neighbor, pacing with a gun.
“I have no idea why he would kill my son in front of his 2 sisters,” Austin said.
Hinnant said he was filled with rage but couldn’t leave his son’s side.
“I just scooped him up in my arms, held him and I screamed: “Somebody help me. Please help me save my son. God, save my son, please.”
Darius Sessoms, a 25-year-old man, faces a first-degree murder charge.
The story of Cannon has now touched a nation, with thousands of people donating to a GoFundMe set up by Gwen. It is raised almost half-a-million dollars as of Friday night.
That money would help expenses following his death — things like therapy for his 2 sisters. And she also hopes there would be enough money to fund a project to help memorialize Cannon’s story.
Maybe a bike park for kids, Gwen said. That is something “Cannon would have loved and other children will enjoy.”