A 25-year-old man who is suspected of shooting and killing a 5-year-old boy in North Carolina was taken into custody on Monday night, about a day after the murder took place. According to police, the suspect, Darius N. Sessoms, walked up to a young boy in broad daylight and shot him in the head, just after 5:30 PM. The shooting happened while the boy was playing with his two sisters, ages 8 and 7. The boy's family says that his young sisters watched him get shot. He was then rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Sessoms was arrested in Goldsboro by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Goldsboro police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, according to WRAL in Raleigh. He was charged with first-degree murder and is being held at the Wilson County jail without bond. At an initial hearing on Tuesday morning, Sessoms opted to hire his own attorney instead of a court-appointed public defender.
Local police have not released any details of a possible motive, but they say that the shooting was not random. The suspect and the victim's family reportedly knew each other. The 5-year-old victim was later identified as Cannon Hinnan, and his family lives next-door to Sessoms.
According to WIFR, a neighbor said that Sessoms had dinner with Cannon's father on Saturday night, and was at the house in the early hours of Sunday as well. Witnesses say that the shooting was definitely deliberate, but no one can imagine what would motivate someone to shoot a 5-year-old boy.
Doris Lybrand, who witnessed the shooting, said Sessoms ran up to Cannon, put the gun near his head, and then fired before running directly back to his own house.
My first reaction was he's playing with the kids. For a second, I thought, 'That couldn't happen.' People don't run across the street and kill kids, Lybrand told WIFR.
You don't expect to see somebody shoot someone, she added.
Anyone with any information about the shooting is being asked to call the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.