‘I have no idea why’: 5-year-old boy fatally shot in North Carolina ‘loved everybody,’ family says

The world now knows Cannon Hinnant as the North Carolina 5-year-old who was fatally shot while riding his bike less than a week ago. But to family, he was so much more: A child who will be remembered for his humor, energy and love.

“He was very full of life,” Gwen Hinnant told USA TODAY on Friday. A grandmother like her needed to be prepared for one of his regular visits — and be ready to play.

It wasn’t just bikes that he loved riding: Lawn mowers, 4-wheelers . . . Anything with wheels.

But his humor is what she remembers most. She laughed, retelling her favorite story.

Cannon, age 4 at the time, was visiting with his two older sisters when she knelt down on the floor to ask the boy a question: Will you take care of me when I’m old?

“You’re already old, grandma,” he replied.

It wasn’t said in a mean spirit. “Cannon loved everybody,” Hinnant said. He also loved water gun battles — and money, she said with a chuckle. He was often asking his dad, Austin Hinnant, for $2.

Most of the time Cannon lived with mother, Bonny Waddell, and step-father, Lee Parker. But last weekend, he was visiting his dad, who is Gwen Hinnant’s step son.

Police haven’t said much about the details of Cannon’s death, other than a man has been charged with his murder.

But a grieving Austin Hinnant gave his account to local media.

Cannon was riding his bike when the shooting happened Sunday, hours after going to church with the family, WRAL-TV reported. Austin Hinnant was inside when he heard the gunshot. He went outside and ran to his dying son. There, he also saw a neighbor, Darius Sessoms, pacing with a gun.

“I have no idea why he would kill my son in front of his two sisters,” Hinnant told the station.

Hinnant said he was filled with rage but couldn’t leave his son’s side.

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