"He was funny, he was always -- he made me laugh on a regular basis ever day"
"He was a very happy child"
Hoover and her sons lived next to Gateway HS. They graduated there
He graduated 2 months before the shooting
"He skateboarded all the time" and helped other kids to learn
Hoover says her son saw a child that wasn't being treated well at home and AJ gave him a skateboard to help him get outside of the house
"That's how AJ was, he took kids under his wing and helped them feel that everything was going to be OK"
AJ played baseball from age 4/5 on, and was always playing catcher
AJ dreamed of being a major league player
Hoover says she felt bad about telling him to not count on making the major leagues
He decidded to go into art
He was a first chair musician in HS orchestra, playing viola
AJ had wanted to continue playing the viola after HS, his mother says
AJ met Lasamoa Cross in school, and Hoover says she was also a musician.
"They had gone to SD on a band trip and thats when they decided they liked each other"
Around sophomore year he discovered ceramics. Hoover says he was good at it, considered turning that into a teaching career. She says her house was full of those items
He applied to Rocky Mtn College of Art and Design
"he was so excited when he got to apply there"
The school offered him scholarship
"He about jumped out of his skin. He was so excited because he loved it and he knew he was going to be able to teach kids the art of ceramics"