Mother of Cannon Hinnant says son’s killing not a race issue

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 4:51 PM CDT
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(WNCN) - The shooting and death of a 5-year-old North Carolina boy on Aug. 9 attracted national headlines.

The mother of the boy, Bonny Waddell, said the shooting was not racially motivated as some have reported.

“It’s just, it’s devastating,” Waddell said.

She referred to the last week as a nightmare that she can’t wake up from.

“I don’t understand. I can’t wrap my head around it,” she said.

Waddell’s son, Cannon, was shot in the head while riding his bike.

It happened in his own front yard as his two young sisters looked on.

Police said a neighbor, 25-year-old Darrius Sessoms, was behind it.

“He was my neighbor for years. Um, we always spoke when we seen each other. It was, we never, never ever had arguments with each other,” Waddell said.

Sessoms is being held at the Wilson County Detention Center. He was arrested a day after the shooting in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

He’s been charged with murder.

Waddell said justice hasn’t been served and she will ask the district attorney to seek the death penalty in the case.

In the meantime, her focus has been on honoring Cannon’s memory.

“Such a big joy, ball of life. He was a smiley, happy child,” Waddell said.

Waddell said she is grateful for the support she’s received from the community and across the country.

A GoFundMe page has raised almost $800,000.

Waddell stressed race had nothing to do with it. Cannon was white and Sessoms is black.

“This is not a race issue. This was a, I don’t even know what it was,” she said.

Waddell would like to see a playground go up in Cannon’s name.

A baseball tournament and race have already been set up.

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