To students of St. Peter Catholic high school, Christopher Gobin was just a regular kid.

"He was a really nice kid, always respectful. He was always goofy, always joking with people. A lot of people really liked him too,” says fellow student Christopher Gabriel.

Now, students are trying to understand how their 18-year-old classmate could be charged with the first-degree murder of his own mother , Luce Lavertu.

“It’s quite the shocker to see your best friend one day and the next day he’s getting hauled off in cuffs,” says Josh Clatney, who admits he wasn't great friends with Gobin but knew him for several years.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board says a crisis response team has been called in and counselling is available for students for as long as they need.

Many students say the mood in the school is grim. Classmates are wondering if there was any way they could’ve have seen this coming.

“You can never tell how somebody is feeling, you can never tell what’s going on through somebody’s mind,” says Clatney.

Neighbours and family friends say they believe Gobin was suffering from personal issues including depression.

His mother is described as a woman who lived with her family and did everything to help her son.

Now, a long pot of flowers sits outside their home still cordoned off with police tape.

On the pot, a simple message: “You are in our thoughts and prayers.”

With a report from CTV’s John Hua.