Like Kristen, AJ did not appear to be depressed when he was a child. He was a straight-A student, popular and played on the football team. Behind the smiling face, AJ says he was secretly struggling.
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.