Draylen Mason had just been accepted into the selective Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin, when his dreams were cut short after a package with a pipe bomb was delivered to his home Monday (March 12) killing him and placing his mother in stable condition.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley described Mason as student with promise.” [He was an] outstanding young man who was going places with his life.” In a second incident, an unknown 75-year-old woman was wounded when a package was delivered to her home. Law enforcement say the bomb was set to explode upon opening.
There have been three packaged pipe bombings in Austin, killing two and injuring others over the past 10 days. Residents are now scared, and investigators say they’ve received 265 calls about suspicious packages.
“What caused this in these instances was a suspicious package that no one was suspecting or expecting,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Tuesday. (March 13) “I want everyone in my community, if they see something that’s suspicious — a package or otherwise — I want them to pick up the phone and call 911.”
Before Draylen’s death, on March 2, Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed when he received a package containing a bomb detonated. What is known so far is that House and Mason are both African-American and according to The Washington Post members of Austin’s distinguished African-American community.
The unknown 75-year-old woman is said to be Hispanic and with the victims all being people of color police have not yet deduced if this is a hate crime, but aren’t shying away from it either.
“We are just not going to ignore that fact that the three victims that were targeted were all people of color,” Manley said Tuesday.”We cannot ignore that. That is something we have to pay attention to. That does not indicate that it’s a hate crime. But we’re not going to rule that out because we don’t want to limit anything that we’re considering.”