A man has been charged with murder after he allegedly shot dead his next-door neighbour’s five-year-old son in front of his young sisters.
Family members say Cannon Hinnant was playing outside his father’s house in North Carolina’s town of Wilson, US, when he was allegedly shot in the head by 25-year-old Darius Sessoms on Sunday evening (local time), local television station WRAL reported.
Witnesses at the scene said they thought Sessoms was playing with the kids before realising his gun was real.
"For a second, I thought, 'That couldn't happen.' People don't run across the street and kill kids,” neighbour Doris Lybrand told WRAL.
Cannon’s mother said the boy’s two sisters, aged 7 and 8, were playing with him at the time and witnessed the shooting.
In a GoFundMe page set up for Cannon’s family, his uncle Austin Hinnant said Cannon had cycled into Sessoms’ yard when he was shot.
Mr Hinnant described Cannon as a “sweet soul”.
A neighbour said Sessoms and the boy’s father were known to each other, and they had been at Cannon’s home earlier that Sunday.
The two men were understood to have dined together the night before.
Police have yet to indicate a motive for the shooting.
Sessoms was arrested by local police, and charged with first-degree murder and was refused bail.
At a brief court hearing on Tuesday (local time), Sessoms indicated he would be hiring his own lawyer.
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