Friends, classmates and people who are pushing for peace gathered in front of East Austin College Prep Friday evening to remember Draylen Mason, the 17-year-old who died when a bomb exploded in his home Monday morning, as well as the other bombing victims.
The event titled “Push for Peace” and organized by Black Pflugerville and Counter Balance: ATX started at 6:30 p.m. and ran well past 9 p.m.
“Hate has been showing up and taking the lives of so many. We plan to counterbalance hate, fear, and anger, with an event filled with love, peace, and healing,” organizers wrote in the event post.
Mason was a beloved student at East Austin College Prep where he excelled in music. He was set to graduate this spring and head to the prestigious Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.
“This senseless act has left a great void for all of us who knew him. We must use our voices to speak out against acts of violence,” EAPrep Secondary School Principal Erica Gonzalez said.
“I was speechless really,” said Jimmy Morales who’s a substitute teacher. “When I first heard it, even right now, [I’m] still kind of in a limbo, I’m not sure how to feel.”
Morales told us he has subbed for the music teacher. Mason was a talented bassist. “He was a light. He was a light in the community. He was a light in the school,” Morales said.
Mason’s mother was also injured when the bomb went off.
Some people believe this was a targeted attack.
“The one degree of separation between the two victims is not a coincidence,” Alicia Jackson, a member of Black Pflugerville and co-organizer of Friday’s event, told KXAN. “It just hurts that these communities are under attack from an unknown, unnamed and unfaced predator and it’s terrifying.”
Many people told us they hope Friday’s walk will bring unity and peace to east Austin.
“It helps to know that we’re all hurting together. We’re all hurting now, and when the moment’s gone, we’ll [still] remember him,” Morales said.