Jesse O'Hara had hundreds of friends on his MySpace page and was preparing for his senior year at Bayside High School.
He didn't make it. Early Friday, he died after being shot several times near 48th Street and 56th Avenue N, the Sheriff's Office said.
After the shooting, a friend drove away with O'Hara in the passenger seat of a four-door Chrysler Concorde and pulled into the entrance of a Verizon service building in the 4300 block of 54th Avenue N. Then, he called 911, the Sheriff's Office said.
Paramedics pulled O'Hara, 17, from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene about 1:25 a.m.
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrested Clinton C. Davies, 18, of St. Petersburg late Friday and charged him with second-degree murder.
Investigators followed several leads that pointed them to Davies, who they said admitted during an interview that he was involved. He was arrested about 7:30 p.m. at the Sheriff's Administration Building in Largo.
Detectives continue to investigate the motive, but said Davies was not the driver.
"He was full of life," said Eric Wilson, 41, O'Hara's father. He said when O'Hara was a kid he would always ask for two cookies, one each for him and his older brother. "That's just the kind of person Jesse was."
Wilson added the arrest was bittersweet because Davies was a friend of his son's who visited Wilson's house just this week.
O'Hara ran into trouble while growing up and was arrested several times on charges including vehicle theft. But Wilson said his son had started doing much better in the past year and largely managed to stay out of trouble.
Amy Fitzpatrick, 16, a former classmate of O'Hara's at St. Petersburg High School, said her phone had been ringing with shocked friends comforting each other. By Friday afternoon, dozens had posted condolence notes on O'Hara's MySpace page.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8472.