17-Year-Old Killed In Possible Hate Crime By Package Bomb Was An Honor Roll Student And Musician

The scene near Galindo Street in Austin, Texas on March 12, 2018 where a woman in her 70s was injured in an explosion. The incident was the second reported explosion on Monday and the third in two weeks.
Two parcel bombs rattled the US city of Austin on Monday, March 12, 2018, ten days after a similar deadly blast, as Texas police said they were investigating the possibility that the attacks were serial hate crimes. The explosions came as Austin, the state capital and a metropolis of two million people, welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors for the massive South by Southwest entertainment and media festival.
 / AFP PHOTO / SUZANNE CORDEIRO        (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)

17-Year-Old Killed In Possible Hate Crime By Package Bomb Was An Honor Roll Student And Musician

Draylen Mason is being mourned by the community while police hunt for his killer.

Published March 13th

One of the victims of the possible racially motivated package bombs was 17-year-old musician who was described as “insightful and mature” honor roll student.

Draylen Mason was killed on Monday after a package left on his doorstep detonated. Austin police believe Mason’s attack is connected to two other explosions, one of which killed Anthony Stephan House. They are determining whether the attacks are part of a hate crime since all the victims were minorities.

After Mason was identified as one of the victims, his friend and family spoke to reporters and described the many positive traits the 17-year-possessed. In addition to be academically gifted, Mason was a successful a bassist and member of musical groups, including the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Austin Youth Orchestra and Austin Soundwaves, according to his Facebook page.

Mason was a senior at East Austin College Prep, where he was on the honor roll.  In 2013, the musician won the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin essay contest. His winning paper investigated racial profiling, reported the NY Daily News.

“I had the honor to meet Draylen Mason in 2013 after he won the Hispanic Bar essay contest. His essay was on racial profiling and was so insightful and mature for such a young man,” said former Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez in a Facebook post late Monday.

According to the Statesman, Mason had been accepted to the University of Texas Butler School of Music. University spokesman J.B. Bird offered condolences to Mason's family.

“This is an accomplishment, as admission to the school is highly competitive,” he said. “We are deeply sorry for his family’s loss.”

Mason was remembered as an all-around positive figure for his community.

"He was a cool guy, and he was just so fun to be around," his friend Kylie Phillips told the Statesman. "He was always busy, because he always had gigs and he was always doing things for the orchestra here in Austin. ... I used to sing in a band with him, so it was so devastating when I found out he died."

During the summers, Mason worked at his grandfather’s dental office.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)

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