The pastor of a church in Decatur, Georgia says Marquel Peters, his family and some others in the congregation were there for the late night Thursday, December 31 services when the shooting occurred.
Marquel was sitting in a smaller sanctuary with about 150 other people when someone in the assembly heard a popping sound and saw debris fall from the ceiling.
The child had been struck in the head by the bullet. Marquel's mom held her son in her arms until paramedics arrived.
The youngster was rushed to an area hospital where he later died.
Police say they do not know where the shot came from and are asking for any help or information on the shooting.