Kevin Taylor tried to plan ahead.
The 17-year-old had saved enough money for car insurance, was studying to become a carpenter and was even planning his dream house.
But all the plans came undone Friday night when Taylor was stabbed during a fight at Towson Town Center. He died Saturday.
"It seemed like everything was in place, and then this happens," said Taylor's mother, Shanay Henry.
A 16-year-old, Tamere H. Thornton of the 5200 block of Midwood Ave. in Baltimore's Govans section, remained in custody yesterday - held without bail on initial charges of attempted first-degree murder and intent to injure with a deadly weapon that were filed before Taylor's death.
Members of the victim's family said yesterday that Taylor did not know Thornton. Baltimore County police, meanwhile, would not discuss details of the slaying.
Family and friends who gathered at Taylor's home in the 1300 block of Walker Ave. in Baltimore yesterday said he showed an interest in working with his hands early on. He would raid his father's toolbox for screwdrivers and pliers, and then take apart stereos, lawnmowers and radios "just to get a look at the parts and put it back together," said his father, Donnell Henry.
While his parents wanted to punish him for dismantling household equipment, they were rarely able to. "He had such a big smile ... and he would give you this big hug until there was nothing that you could do," Donnell Henry said.
Taylor's fascination with tools and construction carried over into his schooling. He studied carpentry at Mergenthaler High School, where he had just begun his senior year. He also was planning on taking architecture classes when he attended college and was planning his dream house, including a super-sized basement with a wall-mounted television.
"He always liked being in the basement, so I guess he wanted a big one in his own house," his father said.
He had a part-time job with the development company Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse Inc., and planned on helping his father manage and do repairs at several rental properties he manages.
"I was getting tired of it and I thought he would take my place," Donnell Henry said.
Taylor, who had three siblings, was a familiar sight on Walker Avenue, dropping by to play video games or gathering others for a pick-up football game, neighbors said. Michael Williams, who lives in the same block, even gave Taylor a 1982 Buick Park Avenue as a gift.
"He told me that he wanted to buy it from me, but he was a good kid and a hard worker, so I just gave it to him because I thought he could use it to get back and forth from work," Williams said.
When one of Taylor's friends called them with news of the stabbing, family members said they had trouble believing it. Even though they rushed to the scene, which is less than three miles away, "it wasn't sinking in," said Shanay Henry.
"He'd never caused any trouble before," she said.
But when they got to the parking lot between Hecht's department store and Rainforest Cafe, Taylor was unconscious and bleeding heavily from a wound in his side, family members said. Shanay Henry said she tried to get to her son, but he was whisked away by paramedics.
"I never even got to touch him," she said.