When he was 6, his parents divorced. By the time he was 13, the attempted robbery of a gas station had earned AJ some time in juvenile hall. His grades plummeted. When his mother's second marriage came to a bitter end, AJ's life was in a total tailspin and he began drinking to escape.
Then one night when he was 16 years old, AJ says his stepfather kicked him out of the house. AJ went to a family friend's home where he had been housesitting, walked to their gun case, grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun, went outside, and shot himself in the head, blowing off most of his face.