Mother of NC boy shot, killed says there were never arguments with neighbor accused of crime

National and World

She stressed Cannon Hinnant's murder was not a race issue

WILSON, N.C. (CNN) – The shooting death of a 5-year-old North Carolina boy last week attracted national headlines but on Monday, his mother said the shooting was not racially-motivated as some have reported.

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

She recalled the nightmare of losing her young son to violence Aug. 9 — one she can’t wake up from.

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

Her son, Cannon Hinnant, was shot in the head while riding his bike. It happened in his own front yard in Wilson, North Carolina as his two young sisters looked on.

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

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

Cannon was white, Sessoms is black. Still, she stressed race had nothing to do with it.

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

Sessoms remains at the Wilson County Detention Center. He was arrested in Goldsboro one day after the shooting and has been charged with murder.

“Justice hasn’t been served,” Waddell said.

She said she will ask the district attorney to seek the death penalty in the case.

Meanwhile, her focus is on honoring Cannon’s memory.

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

Waddell is grateful for the support she’s received from the community, across the state and country. An online fundraising campaign raised almost $800,000.

Waddell would like to see a playground go up in Cannon’s name. There’s already a baseball tournament and race set up.

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