Austin package bomb victim remembered for his musical talents
AUSTIN - The Austin Police Department has identified the teenager who was killed in Monday morning’s package explosion as Draylen Mason, 17. He died after picking up an explosive package on his front porch in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive. This was one of three package explosions that have happened in Austin over the span of ten days.
"When we heard about it, the first reaction was not in my community,” Kay Vanlandingham said. “This happens other places, not in my backyard and then it really became more personal when it happened to someone I knew."
Vanlandingham knew Mason through the Austin Youth Orchestra. She was his conductor for the past three years.
"My first memories of Draylen were running to rehearsal with a bass as big as he was, trying to get there on time,” Vanlandingham said.
Mason’s mother was also injured in the blast, but police said she was now stable.
“From everything I've heard about Draylen, he was an outstanding young man who was going places with his life," APD Chief Brian Manley said.
"Mason had a real joy for living. You could see it in his eyes, in his countenance, the way he played, the way he communicated with other people. There was a certain light about him,” Vanlandingham said.
APD offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the package bombings.