One of the victims who was killed during a series of bombings in Austin last month may receive a posthumous honor. Draylen Mason, the 17-year-old bassist whose life was cut short at his home on March 12, could be awarded a Bachelor of Music degree and have a scholarship fund created in his name at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
A Change.org petition has been started for Mason to be honored with the fund and award at the prestigious school in Oberlin, Ohio. As of Wednesday (April 11) afternoon, it had more than 23,000 signatures.
Mason had been accepted into the class of 2022 at Oberlin Conservatory before his tragic death, the Oberlin Review, the school’s newspaper, reported.
A “fully-funded” scholarship in Mason’s name should be set up for people of color, who are underrepresented in the musical arts, to attend Oberlin, petition supporters asserted. If awarded, a Bachelor of Music degree would also recognize the teen’s family as well, according to a message from a petition organizer.
Oberlin had encouraged its community to donate to funds established to help Mason’s family. The school also encouraged donations to the Draylen Mason Fellows Program established by Austin Soundwaves, a music education program for underserved youth heavily supported by Mason.
The petition and funds come as authorities have revealed new documents in their investigation into the suspected bomber Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, who killed himself with an explosive during a police pursuit on March 20. Mason and Anthony Stephan House, a 39-year-old African-American father and project manager, were killed by packaged bombs believed to have been built by Conditt.
Two women, including Mason’s mother, were injured by bombs left at their homes. Other victims were also targeted in the bombing spree.
Conditt purchased a “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” sign to place in a yard as a way to conceal one of his explosives, authorities said on Monday evening. They believe that no further device has been planted in Austin and no other suspects remain at-large, John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, said, according to ABC News.
A federal judge in Texas unsealed an eight-page affidavit on Monday (April 9) that prosecutors filed for an arrest warrant for Conditt, who had built seven explosive devices for his terror spree. Authorities are still looking into Conditt’s specific motive, they said.