The Canon Hinant family will never get over the loss of their little one.
The 5-year-old was shot and killed by a neighbor while riding his bike in Wilson, North Carolina, last weekend, according to police.
“We shouldn’t be here,” Cannon’s grandfather, Meryl Rice, told ABC News Raleigh-Durham WTVD. “Cannon was the type who was always polite, kinda relaxed. But he was such a lovely little kid.”
The Cannon family said they were preparing to send him to kindergarten, which was scheduled to start this week. Instead, they spent their time greeting the more than 100 cars that arrived for his funeral.
Cannon was a loving child. He liked to go to church. He lit up any room he entered. “I mean, in whatever store we were in, he was talking to a stranger,” Austin Haint , Cannon’s father, told ABC News.
Haint said the tragedy began as a normal day.
“They all wanted to ride their bikes and have fun. Just like any other day. And then, it wasn’t 20-30 minutes later,” Haint said.
When Haint heard the gunfire, he said he walked out of his front door.
“The first thing I see is my son lying on the ground and it occurred to me that he might have fallen off his bike. When I approached him and carried him in my arms, I realized … how terrible it was … I had to carry my son and hold him in my arms while the blood was running down my arms and everything I can do is pray to God, said Haint .
The Cannon sisters were there to witness the tragic event. Henant said: “It was very difficult for my daughter.
The boy’s killing has garnered international attention. People from all over the world use numerous hashtags related to Cannon’s death on social media to send prayers, words of encouragement and donations to his family.
But he said Sissums also seemed to be terrified about an event that happened Friday night.
“He seemed to be thinking about a lot of things and I was cooking chicken on the grill, so I invited him to my house… We are supporters of God and I just said to him,“ God is telling us to love our neighbors, ” Haint said.
The family says they intend to hold a vigil in the near future, but now they are taking time to grieve and heal.
Haint said, “[Canon] loved everyone, and he was asking us to all come together in his name and try to unite this country and love each other.”
Wilson police said the alleged killer, Darius Sissoms, 25, was arrested on Monday after he fled the scene and is now in prison without bail facing a first-degree murder charge. It is unclear when his next day will be in court.
“We’ve been next door for eight years,” Haint said. “We were just friendly neighbors, like everyone else. We would talk when we saw each other and he might walk and talk to me for a few moments and vice versa.”
On Saturday, the day before the fatal shooting, Cannon’s father had left Sissom for dinner. He told Haint that they shared a beer together on the balcony and that the Sissoms’ behavior looked good.