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Legislator: Don't celebrate with gunfire

LAWRENCEVILLE — A local legislator is encouraging New Year’s revelers to refrain from celebratory gunfire this season.

Last year, one of Sen. Gloria Butler’s constituents, 4-year-old Marquel Peters, was killed by a bullet believed to have been fired in celebration shortly after midnight. The boy was sitting next to his mother in church.

“I can only imagine the heartbreak and sadness Marquel’s mother has suffered this past year,” said Butler, whose district includes DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. “I hope this resolution will serve as a reminder to our community to refrain from celebrating with guns.”

Butler introduced a resolution this week to raise awareness of the issue, and DeKalb County government created Marquel’s Pledge in July to encourage residents to refrain from celebratory shooting.

“I am still saddened by the tragic passing of Marquel Peters, but I am also proud that in honor of his life, we have made the commitment to end celebratory gunfire in our county and the state of Georgia, and we commend Sen. Butler for championing this cause under the Gold Dome,” DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis said in a press release.