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Police: North Carolina man faces murder charge in shooting death of 5-year-old boy

Jordan Culver
USA TODAY

A North Carolina man faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of a 5-year-old boy who, according to local media reports, was riding a bike in his neighborhood. 

Police arrested Darius Sessoms, 25, on Monday after a brief search. The child, identified as Cannon Hinnant, was shot Sunday evening in Wilson, North Carolina, according to police. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died. 

"The Wilson Police Department sends its sincerest condolences and prayers to the family of Cannon during this tragic time," WPD said in a news release.

Sessoms was located inside a "residence in Goldsboro, N.C," police said. Goldsboro is about 30 minutes south of Wilson, which is 50 miles east of the state's capital city of Raleigh. 

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Darius Sessoms, 25

"The Wilson Police Department would like to thank the US Marshals’ Carolinas Violent Fugitive Task Force, Goldsboro Police Department, and Wayne County Sherriff’s Dept. for their assistance in apprehending Sessoms," the Wilson Police Department said in a news release.

Few details about the shooting have been made available by police. USA TODAY requested Sessoms' arrest report from the Wilson Police Department. A spokesman for the department provided a link to a police website, which listed Sessoms' Monday arrest but did not include his arrest report.

The spokesman later provided an incident report to USA TODAY that didn't include any further details about Sessoms' arrest or the shooting.

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Sessoms has a court date for Aug. 25, according to online records. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Sessoms served two prison terms in 2017. 

Wilson County District Court Judge John Britt told Sessoms during a virtual hearing on Tuesday that he has a right to represent himself, hire a lawyer or he could ask for a court-appointed lawyer. Sessoms, who is being held in the Wilson County Jail without bond, said he wanted to try to hire a lawyer.

WRAL-TV in North Carolina reported witnesses told police Cannon was riding his bike outside his father's home when he was shot in the head. WRAL reported Cannon's funeral was on Thursday. 

Austin Hinnant, Cannon's father, told the TV station he and Sessoms were neighbors for eight years. 

"There wasn't anything between me and him, any bad blood whatsoever, for him to have a reason to do this," Hinnant told the outlet.

Contributing: The Associated Press