WILSON, N.C. (CNN) – A family is grieving a 5-year-old boy who was shot to death in North Carolina.
Police say Cannon Hinnant didn’t die from a stray bullet or neglected gun. They say a neighbor walked up to the child while he was playing outside with his siblings and shot him in the head.
On Friday, there was a vigil for the little boy.
“My baby didn’t deserve this,” said Bonny Waddell, Cannon’s mother. “He had the biggest smile, the biggest eyes.”
Those who knew him said he also had an infectious personality, and loved go-karting and his bike.
Waddell said she lost a piece of her heart August 9.
“We lost a big piece of our family. We all. He changed our lives. He touched everybody that he knew.”
It’s a day too difficult to recount — not only for her, but for Cannon’s two sisters and 7-year-old aunt, who watched him die.
“This man took my girls when he took my baby. They know he’s in a better place,” Waddell said.
While 25-year-old Darius Sessoms is in jail facing charges for killing Cannon, family and friends said there’s justice they want to see.
“I want death penalty and I’m going to seek it,” Waddell said.
“I agree with Cannon’s mother that we are going to seek the death penalty,” said Austin Hinnant, Cannon’s father.
With more than $750,000 raised through an online campaign, the family plans to remember Cannon the best way they know how.
“We’ve discussed a memorial park for Cannon, where kids can go and ride their bikes because he loved that so much,” said Gwen Hinnant, the boy’s grandmother.
While grief and questions weigh on this mother’s heart, she knows there’s a greater plan.
“I love — I loved him,” Waddell said. “Cannon’s going to change this world.”
Sessoms is charged with first-degree murder.