Park renovations to honor slain 5-year-old Wilson boy Cannon Hinnant now complete

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WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A Wilson County family is working hard to keep a 5-year-old boy’s memory alive.

Cannon Hinnant was shot and killed in his own front yard. His neighbor was charged in connection with his murder. That was last August. Eleven months later the family is celebrating the renovation of a park in his honor.

Cannon’s mother, Bonny Parker, said J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex was her son’s favorite.

“He would definitely be so proud,” Parker said.

Parker has tried to stay strong for her family but losing her son has been devastating.

“Hard… I honestly don’t even like to talk about it,” she said.

Cannon was killed back in his own front yard as he played with his two sisters in August of 2020. His neighbor, Darrius Sessoms, 25, is accused of shooting the boy in the head.

Cannon’s murder made national headlines, a GoFundMe page started and quickly raised over $800,000.

“We keep Cannon alive, his memory alive every single day. We talk about Cannon, he’s in our home and I know he’s with us every day,” she said.

Parker said she donated nearly $300,000 to help renovate the playground. She remembers coming here with Cannon, the equipment would get too hot. Hence the new shades and seating.

“I was blown away by the way it looked, I was not expecting it to pop the way it did,” she said.

“I think about it every day,” Jessica Eaves said.

So many in this small community were touched by this tragedy. Eaves brings her kids to the park to play and said she appreciates the upgrades.

“Honorable, very honorable, just the thought in memory of a child, it’s very honorable,” Eaves said.

Parker is now turning her attention to the Wilson City Miracle Field, which would be built right next door. It would allow children with disabilities to play baseball.

“Ball has always been in our family so seeing kids out there playing ball that can’t really run and do like they want, definitely warm my heart,” Parker said.

Parker has donated $100,000 to the project. They’re about halfway to their fundraising goal.

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