As his friends tell it, Danny Coverston rarely met a person he didn't like. The word around Towson University is that Coverston, 22, was consistently amiable and gregarious and liked nothing more than a good laugh. He had a whopping 787 friends on Facebook.
Which is why no one could imagine yesterday why anybody would want to kill him.
"I don't think I knew anyone who did not like him," said Daniel Abraham, a sports columnist at The Towerlight, the campus newspaper, who once lived in the same Lachlan Circle apartment that later became Coverston's home and the place where his body was found Saturday afternoon, with a fatal gunshot wound in the head.
"He was a really laid-back guy who didn't stress about things," said Abraham, 22, whose columns frequently prompted visits by Coverston to the newsroom. "Even if he disagreed with you, he'd laugh about it."
A Baltimore County police spokesman said yesterday that detectives remained focused on the case. "They have been continuing to investigate all day and are still working on it tonight," Cpl. George Erhardt said in the late afternoon.
Daniel Ho Coverston, who moved to Towson from his family's home in Prince George's County, completed last year the Athletic Training Education Program at Towson's department of kinesiology, a discipline under which he specialized in the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries to athletes.
"He was a great kid - very personable, outgoing, conscientious," said Terry O'Brien, who for 29 years has been the head athletic trainer at Towson. "It's just a tragedy to see a kid that young murdered. It's intolerable. It's unconscionable. You read about these events going on and it's a tragedy each time, but when you know the person, you understand how much of a tragedy it really is."
O'Brien, who was interviewed in the fieldhouse at Unitas Stadium, where Coverston undertook much of his training under clinical instructors, said the young man "did rotations through a lot of sports" but that as an upperclassman he focused on women's volleyball and men's basketball, often traveling with the teams for out-of-town games.
Coverston remained friends with several fellow graduates of the program, O'Brien said, adding that one such friend had gone over to Coverston's apartment to see what he could do after hearing the news.
At the apartment complex, Fairways at Towson, word of the killing spread quickly over the weekend, said Austin Harclerode, a 20-year-old sophomore who plays baseball for the college team. He was surprised, however, that there was not more of a commotion.
"It was strange," said Harclerode, who did not know Coverston. "When a shooting happens, you'd figure the whole street would be locked down."
Another resident, Oliver Hare, moved to the Fairways complex three years ago after being spooked by the shooting death of a taxi driver outside his front door at the Dutch Village Townhomes in Parkville. "This is usually quiet here," said Hare, who works for the state Department of Social Services, "but these things usually happen by who you associate with."
Coverston had worked part time at Papa John's, a pizza place on York Road near the campus, "slapping dough" for about seven or eight years, said William Bold, 34, the day manager yesterday. Coverston took a leave a couple of weeks ago for eye surgery.
His body was discovered by a friend who went to his apartment to check on him, police said.
"As far as I know, he got along with everybody," Bold said. "Whoever did that to him must have really hated him for some reason, which doesn't make sense. I'll never forget his laugh - I can still hear that."