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The mother of the boy who commandeered a school bus, fatally shot himself and crashed the vehicle into a home said she doesn't know why her son did what he did but that he may have been crying out for help.

Julie Allgood told KTVX that her son, Justin, did not use drugs and avoided trouble and showed no outward signs of depression or the violence that ultimately led to his death."He was playing basketball last night and was laughing and joking," she said Tuesday outside her home. "That's how he was this morning when he left, laughing and joking with me . . . he seemed like himself."

But Allgood said Justin struggled with the deaths of two of his friends and classmates at Bingham Middle School. William Rowell, 14, died in a rollover Sunday, while Jason Collier, 14, was killed Dec. 18 in a car crash.

"I don't think he ever accepted the death of his friend who died back in December," she said. "We didn't realize that until about a month ago."

She said Justin's wallet had gotten wet and as she was helping him go through the items inside to dry them, she came across Collier's obituary, clipped from the newspaper.

"I asked him about it, and he said that he was his friend . . . and he wanted to carry it."

Responding to how the chase that ended the young man's life could have happened, Allgood said she couldn't explain.

"I don't think he really meant to hurt anybody," she said. "I think it was maybe a cry for help. I think he was hurting about these other boys and didn't know how to deal with it. And I really don't think he thought it would have ended up this way.

"Anybody who knows Justin knows that this person who did this this morning was not the real Justin," Allgood added tearfully. "And people can think what they want, but it could have been their kid as easy as ours because he was a very good boy."