SPRING HOPE, N.C. (WNCN) — Family and friends of a Wilson 5-year-old gathered at his gravesite Wednesday to remember the boy’s life and condemn a rise in gun violence statewide.

Three years ago, Cannon Hinnant was just 5 years old when a man shot and killed him while he sat on his bicycle in his front yard in Wilson.

“Sometimes it feels like it just happened,” Hinnant’s mother Bonny Parker said. “It’s been three years and I always ask why. Every day.”

Neighbor Darius Sessoms pled guilty to the murder and was sentenced to life in prison in December.

“I feel like I’m the one with the life sentence and not him,” Parker said. “[Sessoms] still gets to wake up every day. His mom still gets to see him and talk to him and I feel like his sentence was not enough.”

Wednesday night’s vigil was an opportunity for loved ones to share their love for Hinnant and also show the devastating impacts against gun violence can have on families.

“No mother should have to bury their child. No mother should have to go through the pain that I feel every single day,” Parker said.

Parker said a memorial park renovation will soon open in September in honor of Cannon.

Data from the North Carolina department of health and human services reported a nearly 20 percent increase in all firearm-related deaths during the pandemic.

Parker said she is still working on state legislation to honor Cannon and help other victims, however, could not release any more information on what the bill might include.