MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While many families got together to enjoy each other’s company with a cookout, one Memphis family got together for a somber birthday.

It was to celebrate what would have been Artemis Rayford’s 13th birthday. He was playing video games when police said a stray bullet took his life on Christmas Day.

Less than six months after the death of Artemis, his family said celebrating his 13th birthday this Memorial Day weekend brought mixed emotions.

“It’s really sad that he’s not here with me,” Doneisha Eddings said. “It’s real emotional. It really hurts me right now, but then again he in a better place. We got to get to where he is.”

Artemis, who family called “Shun,” captured international attention after his death when it was revealed the Sherwood Middle School student wrote a letter to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee expressing his concern over changing gun laws allowing adults to carry a gun without a permit.

Before his death, the middle schooler wrote, “it is my opinion the new laws will be bad and people will be murdered.”

The birthday party this weekend came as more than 10 people were shot in the neighborhoods across the city.

Following Artemis’ death, his family testified to Tennessee lawmakers. They discussed two bills sponsored by Rep. G.A. Hardaway. One of them aimed at those who participate in drive-by shootings.

Hardaway told WREG the bills became stuck in a finance budget committee, but he plans to bring them up again next year including conflict resolution curriculum in schools.

“We’re talking about the violence that permeates in our society,” he said. “And it’s not merely about gun violence, it’s about violence. It’s about how we address issues of disagreement.”

At last check, Artemis’ killer has not been caught.

If you have any information that could help, call (901) 528-CASH.