Lasamoa's life turned upside down when she lost her fiancé, AJ Boik, in the 2012 movie theater mass shooting in California. But years later, the tragedy she suffered led to immense joy. Here's how that painful day changed Lasamoa's life forever.
In 2012, Lasamoa Lanier and her fiancé AJ Boik attended the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, California. The film was the final installment of DC Comics' The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Soon after the couple and the theater crowd settled in and began watching the opening scene, chaos descended on the theater.
LASAOMOA'S EXPERIENCE OF THE MASS SHOOTING
Lasamoa recalled seeing a black silhouette open one of the emergency doors and throw a canister at the crowd.
Lasamoa said she remembered looking back and seeing people frantically jumping out of their seats to try and escape the shooter.
Soon afterward, the shooter opened fire, and AJ was one of 12 people who were killed and 70 who were injured in that horrific incident. AJ was only 18 years old when he died.
LASAMOA FINDS HEALING
Lasamoa's tragic loss of AJ caused her immense grief, so she had to find a way to heal through the pain. Lasamoa said:
“Journaling helps me get it all out. [It] helps me say the things I can’t say out loud.”
Lasamoa also used her journaling practice to write to AJ. She kept the hat AJ wore that fateful night, along with the photo they took together just before attending the premiere.
THE TRIAL THREE YEARS AFTER THE TRAGEDY
Three years after the mass shooting, the trial began, and Lasamoa attended. While there, she heard testimonies from the police officers who were the first to arrive at the scene.
The testimonies revealed that the police officers were just as traumatized as Lasamoa was after the shooting tragedy.
In the letter that Lasamoa wrote to Cody, she applauded him for his character and his hard work.
LASAMOA'S LETTER TO THE POLICE OFFICERS
After listening to the testimonies, Lasamoa decided to write letters to the police officers, thanking them for their actions during that tragic evening.
Lasamoa sent one of her letters to Officer Cody Lanier, one of the responders to the scene. Surprisingly, Cody also worked as a resource officer at Lasamoa's alma mater, Gateway High School.
Cody recalled seeing and speaking with Lasamoa in the aftermath of the shooting. He added that he remembered Lasamoa walking up to him, asking where AJ was.
CODY'S CHARACTER AND HARD WORK
In the letter Lasamoa wrote to Cody, she applauded him for his character and hard work. The letter partially read that Lasamoa always thought of Cory as courageous.
It continued to describe him as a person who was determined and headstrong for how well he continuously served his community.
CODY'S EXPERIENCE OF THE TRAGEDY
After reading the letter, Cody recalled that what Lasamoa wrote made him emotional. He also recalled speaking with AJ's mom and telling her AJ would likely not make it after being shot. Cody recalled how the mass shooting was incredibly traumatic for him.
Right after Lasamoa dropped off the letter to Cody, they both decided to have lunch together for an hour to reflect on the events surrounding the shooting.
But instead of a one-hour long lunch, the pair spent four hours together. Cody also reflected on losing his friend many years ago, who died in a tragic car crash when she was the same age as AJ.
CODY AND LASAMOA'S DEEP CONNECTION
Lasamoa and Cody connected and healed because of the shared pain they suffered. Cody understood the loss Lasamoa felt at such a young age since he had experienced something similar.
As the years progressed, Lasamoa and Cody grew closer, and on October 3, 2021, they tied the knot!
The deep connection that Lasamoa and Cody formed surprised them. He said that he had no idea what he would do without Lasamoa and that their love what an example of beauty rising from ashes.
AN UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE STORY
Cody also said Lasamoa filled a gap he had inside him. "Beyond that, it was just this connection. Every day since she turned into my best friend," he said.
On the couple's wedding page, Lasamoa beautifully summarized their love story. She explained that their stories started out very challenging but eventually, their love story was unconventional yet beautiful.
Have you ever experienced a tragedy that later transformed your life for the better? If this story touched you, you'd love this one about a cop who rushed to save a seven-day-old baby after seeing that the baby's father was distressed.
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