The grieving father of a 5-year-old killed in North Carolina said the suspect had lived in the next house for eight years and had shared dinner with him the day before the shooting.
Witnesses told police that Canon Henant was riding his bike outside his father’s home in Wilson when a man approached him and shot him in the head.
His father, Austin Henant, was inside the house when he heard the bullet, he told CNN’s WRAL. “The first thing that came to my mind was that he might have just fallen off his bike,” he said. “The closer I got to it, the more I realized it was something more dangerous.”
When he saw his son, he hugged him in his arms and asked for help. I shouted, ‘Someone, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please.
At the time, the suspect – his neighbor, Darius Sessomes – was in the nearby yard with a pistol in hand, and was marching at a brisk pace, Henant said. He described being filled with anger as he looked at the suspect – but he couldn’t leave Cannon’s side.
He said, you cannot imagine what it would be like to carry your son in your arms with a gunshot wound to the head, and his blood is running down your arms.”
Cannon was with his sisters at the age of seven and eight when the shooting happened. “They were playing in the yard like any other day,” Henant said.
Henant said that Sissums, 25, and the victim’s family had no problems, adding that he had hosted the suspect for dinner the day before the shooting. He said both men were sitting on his balcony drinking beer.
Henant said, “There was nothing between him and me, any blood whatsoever, until he had a reason to do so.”
Police have not released information on the motive. Henant said he did not know why his son was killed.
After the shooting, Henant’s fiancé called 911 as a neighbor with the EMT bag hurried to help. He said that Sissums walked away.
Police arrived at the scene and Cannon was taken to hospital.
Sessom was arrested on Monday at a Goldsboro residence about 30 minutes south of Wilson. He has been charged with first degree murder and is being held without foundation. It is unclear if he has a lawyer.