WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — Students, staff members and grieving family gathered at a West Covina high school Monday to remember a teenager who took his own life.

Ian Lee Armas’ heartbroken mother addressed a large crowd at the candlelit gathering in memory of her son, a high school sophomore.

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Jeannette Rodriguez Armas says last Friday her son took his own life after being upset about being tardy to school.

She said her son had also been dealing with bullying since 2nd grade. And while Armas said things had improved in high school, she believes recent events pushed him to his breaking point.

“So, I tried talking to him, and my precious neighbors tried talking to him,” she said, pointing to a pair in the crowd.

“But once the SWAT team got there, and the police got there, they told us to get out of the house. And as soon as we got out of the house, the gun popped, and my baby was gone,” she recalled, her voice trembling.

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“What happened to our son … it spiraled out of control so fast,” Ian’s father echoed.

Friends and classmates also spoke of their dismay.

“I feel no closure with Ian’s story because I’m not sure what he went through. He never spoke out,” friend Kayla Lieras said.

Friends and family of the teen say they hope more can be done to prevent young people from making the same choice.

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“I think this is a big eye-opener, not only for me but for everyone here,” classmate Sofia Baroz said.