While some of the media has neglected to cover the appalling murder of Cannon Hinnant, people around the world have been emotionally touched and heartbroken by the tragedy. Some have shown their support for the family of the slain 5-year-old by donating to a GoFundMe campaign, which now exceeds half a million dollars.
A GoFundMe campaign set up by Gwen Hinnant, Cannon’s grandmother, has soared past its original goal of raising $5,000 for the family. At the time of publication, over 17,000 donors have given more than $605,000.
“On Sunday, August 9th, this precious angel was playing outside with his siblings when he was murdered,” the description of the “Justice for Cannon” campaign reads. “He was merely doing what he would do any other day and that’s playing with his sisters, riding his bike, doing what kids do and all of the innocence that comes with being a child.”
“This family has faced unimaginable pain because of this senseless act of violence,” the boy’s grandmother wrote. “We are asking for your donations to assist with anything that may be needed for expenses related to his services. We offer our sincerest appreciation in this extremely difficult time.”
Lee Parker, Cannon’s stepfather, said, “There are no words or no amount of money that’s going to bring him back.” He added, “He just loved everything. Everybody.”
There was a candlelight vigil to honor the life of the young boy scheduled for Friday night, but it was postponed to give the family more time to mourn and heal, according to WSOC-TV.
Despite the cancellation, dozens of people showed up at the Wilson County Courthouse for the vigil.
“I don’t know the family, but I want to say to the family that we love you. We’re praying for you and we’re standing with you,” a pastor told WNCN-TV.
“I’ve never been to a candlelight vigil before but I just felt compelled to come tonight,” one woman said.
“I have a little grandson almost the same age and it could happen to anyone,” a woman at the vigil said.
The Wilson Times reported that a new event to celebrate the life of Cannon Hinnant is in the works, and details would be coming “soon.”
Hinnant’s funeral was held on Thursday night, where at least 100 cars drove by to pay their respects.
Darrius Sessoms, a neighbor of the Hinnant family, reportedly shot Cannon last Sunday. Cannon was riding his bicycle when Sessoms walked up the boy and reportedly killed him in an execution-style shooting. The murder was allegedly witnessed by a neighbor and Hinnant’s two sisters, ages seven and eight.
Sessoms, 25, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was jailed without bond and is due to appear on court on Aug. 25.
“That’s evil,” the boy’s grandfather, Merrill Race, said. “I never met this guy in my life, but that is one evil dude. He’s [in jail] where he should be.”
The hashtag #SayHisName was trending on Twitter earlier this week after major news networks went days without reporting on the atrocious murder of the child. A few mainstream media outlets finally covered the Cannon Hinnant story on Friday.