Mourners release balloons in honor of A.J. Boik. (Liz Goodwin/Yahoo News)
AURORA, Colo--Hundreds of people gathered in the Gateway High School baseball field Saturday evening to remember 18-year-0ld A.J. Boik, a recent graduate and an aspiring art teacher. The school is just a mile away from the movie theater where Boik and 11 others were killed at a midnight showing of "The Dark Night Rises" on Friday.
Boik's girlfriend, Lasamoa Cross, was with him at the theater when he was shot, according to a statement from the Boik family. Cross, a student at the University of Colorado, told the crowd of mourners on Saturday that the pair had been secretly engaged.
"A lot of people didn't know we were engaged," she said. "We didn't want to disrespect our parents, being so young and crazy and in love."
[COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colorado theater shooting]
Boik and Cross. (Cross' Google Plus page)
"I look at it now and I think we were going to have everything," she said. Cross added that she would still be able to have everything because Boik lives on in her memory and in the hearts of everyone who knew him.
Several of Boik's friends shared stories about the teen's fondness for goofy dancing and quick sense of humor. He was remembered as "the life of the party" and a good, kind friend who was determined to make everyone around him smile. Boik was planning on attending Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in the fall.
Boik's mother fought back tears as she thanked the crowd for coming. "Please just pray for us and thank you," she said.
Several people passed out balloons in purple--Boik's favorite color--and then the mourners released them all at once. "We love you, A.J.," Cross said as the balloons drifted away.
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