Family and friends remember 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed in May

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Donavan Ruland's family is working to keep his memory alive after he was tragically shot and killed in May. What his family is doing to celebrate and remember his life.

12-year-old Donavan Ruland was shot and killed in May while he was driving an ATV outside of his home.

"It was just an unfortunate, tragic event that happened that no parent should have to deal with and go through,” said family friend, Kelsie Culver.

Ruland's parents are working to make sure his memory lives on by hosting a memorial bike run in his honor.

“We're all getting together, riding bikes, doing things he loved to do. Then we're going to go bowling. We're going to play and have fun just in remembrance of him,” said Ruland’s mother Nicole Foster.

Friends and family of Ruland gather at Two Wheel Inn where they begin a four hour bike ride that takes them all around town then ending with a game of bowling at Park Lanes in Loves Park.

"It's so overwhelming just to see everyone. He touched so many lives even at 12 years old, you know, and just to see all this. I wish he could be here. He loved watching the bike runs and the four wheelers and the dirt bikes,” said Foster.

Friends hope today's event will help Rulands parents cope with the loss of their son. They want them to know how much people care about them.

"Right now I think that's what they need is a lot of support just to keep them going and constant reminders that there's people that love them,” said Culver.

“They know he's up there smiling at us, watching over all of us right now and how much we miss him and love him,” said Foster.