For weeks, Austin was terrorized by a series of bombings delivered as packages to people’s doorsteps. Two people have been killed, both African-American men, Draylen Mason and Anthony Stephan House. Twenty-three year old White male Mark Anthony is responsible for the terrorist attack.
During such a tragic event it is important to remember the people who suffered through this unfortunate, and seemingly targeted terrorist attack.
Seventeen year old Draylen Mason was taken way too young. He was preparing for college and was a highly respected musician. Teachers noticed his rare talent immediately during his time at a music summer camp in 2012.
His teacher Dana Wygmans, who had taught him for five years, stated, "He was just such a wonderful musician. I think that he did have a lot of natural talent, but I don't want to underplay or understate how hard he worked and how passionate he was about it." Draylen was also auditioning for music programs, and had been accepted to University of Texas and University of North Texas.
He was also known to be a comedian among his friends. His lifelong friend Sharrel Prince stated, "You just expect to laugh with him. That boy was hilarious. What made Draylen funny is that he says the things everyone else is scared to say.”
Mason was killed on March 12 by one of the packages that was left outside his home in East Austin. His mother was also injured during the tragic bombing.
Thirty-nine year old Anthony Stephan House was killed on March 2. He was a humble quiet father to an eight year old girl, and a graduate from Texas State University. House attended Pflugerville High School and completed a finance degree at Texas State University in 2008. He had worked as a project manager for Texas Quarries until 2017. Friends stated he also had an interest in real estate.
House’s older brother was also murdered in 1994 when House was just a teenager and had a difficult time processing his death. However, he was resilient during this hard time, according to his friends, and focused on the positive to keep moving forward.
House was well liked among his community and kept a positive mindsight on life. A high school friend of House, Greg Padgitt, stated they were going to start reaching out to schools to help mentor boys and girls who didn’t have a male figure in their life.
While Mark Anthony did not leave a clear motive to the attacks, after committing suicide by explosives in his car, many people believe this to be a hate crime that was racially motivated. It is clear this is an act of terrorism, however many media outlets have portrayed Anthony as a white male who was going through a hard time, reasoning as to why he committed these attacks.
Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason will be remembered through their friends and families, and the powerful impact they left on their community.
Aamina Guidry is a writer for CSUITEMUSIC
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