WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – The City of Wilson will honor Cannon Hinnant, the 5-year-old shot to death while riding his bike outside his home in August, by building “The Miracle Field” at the city’s athletic complex, officials and Hinnant’s family announced Wednesday.
Hinnant’s family, along with the City of Wilson Parks and Recreation Department, announced the memorial gift at an event near the playground at the J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex on Wednesday morning.
According to the city’s website for the field, Miracle Field will “will promote the game of baseball in its purest form while bringing the community even closer together as only the game of baseball can.”
The city goes on to say that the new field will be a “specially-designed baseball field…equipped to give children with intellectual and/or physical disabilities the recreation opportunities to enjoy the great game of baseball that our Wilson City Little Leaguers have been enjoying for years.”
Hinnant was shot in the head and killed on Aug. 9 while he rode his bicycle in front of his home in the 5100-block of Archers Road around 5:30 p.m., Wilson police and family members said at the time.
“Officers arrived on the scene and located a 5-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound,” officials said on the night of the shooting.
EMS workers and police began “performing lifesaving efforts” at the scene, police said.
Hinnant was taken to Wilson Medical Center, but later died.
Just after 9 p.m., police said they had issued a murder warrant in the case for Darius N. Sessoms, 25, of Wilson. Sessoms was a neighbor of Hinnant and his family.
The suspect had multiple felony drug charges from over the years, multiple felony probation violations, and charges for possessing stolen firearms and resisting a public official.
Sessoms was arrested a day later on Aug. 10 after he was captured at a home in Goldsboro. Wilson Police Department thanked the U.S. Marshals, Goldsboro police, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office for their help in catching him.
After his arrest, Sessoms was charged with first-degree murder and taken to jail without bond.
Hinnant’s horrific murder made national news and even international news.
Over a month after Sessoms’ arrest, a second suspect was arrested and charged in the case.
Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, 21, was arrested and charged on Sept. 22.
Pettit knew Sessoms had committed a felony and helped him flee Wilson on Aug. 9 and 10, court documents say.
Cannon’s mother, Bonny Waddell, said she would ask the district attorney to seek the death penalty for Sessoms.
“Justice hasn’t been served,” the grieving mother said in a previous interview.
Numerous vigils and memorials have been held to honor Cannon. A motorcycle ride drew hundreds on Aug. 22.
The city is taking donations to go toward Miracle Field. You can read more or donate by clicking here.