Four-year-old Marquel Peters loved church. So much so, that he cried recently when he thought he would miss it because a relative was running late.

For the New Year’s Eve service, Marquel brought along a video game to play during an intermission.

The next time Marquel returns to his family’s church, it will be for his funeral.

Thursday night, Marquel and about a dozen family members attended a service at the Church of God of Prophecy near Decatur.

Marquel was seated next to his mother, Nathalee, while those in the church waited for a 12:30 a.m. concert to begin. Then, those in the sanctuary heard a loud pop. It was almost like the sound of a balloon.

Instantly, Marquel was on the floor, and he was bleeding.

“No one knew what it was,” said Garry Peters, Marquel’s uncle. “It was just crazy.”

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