Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- His name was Marquel Peters, and he was only 4 years old. He died from a falling bullet after “celebratory gunfire” on January 1, 2010.
Again, he was 4 years old.
A 4-year-old boy was killed by a falling bullet from celebratory gunfire while attending a New Year’s Eve church service in Decatur.
It happened at the Church of God of Prophecy in the 3300 block of Covington Drive in Decatur.
DeKalb police spokesman Jason Gagnon said it appears the bullet came through the church’s roof and struck the child in the head. DeKalb police told Channel 2 Action News that they are actively working leads in the case.
“It’s so hard … he was my only child,” said Nathalee Peters, the child’s mother.
Nathalee Peters told Channel 2 Action News reporter Tony Thomas that her family was waiting for a concert to begin at the church when her son, Marquel Peters, 4, was struck by the bullet. It happened just twenty minutes into the new year.
“I saw his Nintendo game fall on the floor, and I heard a sound and I heard him scream a little bit and I looked around and all I saw was blood coming from his head,” said Nathalee Peters.
The round that killed Marquel Peters was fired from an AK-47, according to police in a separate report.
Park Forest Police took a different approach to dissuade people from falling to “celebratory gunfire” to welcome the New Year. In a Facebook post, police focus on the stupidity of such behavior:
Some reasons not to fire a gun into the air to celebrate the New Year:
1) It’s really stupid.
2) It’s a felony.
3) You could injure or kill someone.
4) It’s really stupid.
5) Ammunition is expensive.
6) No responsible gun owner does that.
8) It’s really stupid.
Be a responsible gun owner and don’t start the New Year committing a felony that injures people every year in America.
Bullets go up, and they don’t disappear.
Virtually every year, someone is arrested in Park Forest or surrounding communities after reports of shots fired on New Year’s Eve.
eNews Park Forest implores readers to celebrate the New Year responsibly — with pots and pans, noise makers, confetti, whatever.
Just make sure the guns are out of sight and out of mind.
Please share this post, especially with anyone who you think might be tempted to reach for a gun as the clock nears midnight on New Year’s Eve.