For the first time since his death, Draylen Mason's family speaks out, through their pastor.
Family members did not want to do an interview, but they released the following statement.
We want to thank the law enforcement officials who have worked diligently on this case. We have been humbled by the overwhelming support of the community and of those who loved Draylen as we did. Our hearts also go out to the families who have been impacted by these senseless crimes and we pray for them as well.
We are a family of faith and we know that with God all things are possible. The most recent chain of events have brought some sense of closure that our beloved has received justice and we are prayerful that we can now start to move forward with our lives. While we never imagined that he would not be with us at this time, we are comforted to know that Draylen has received the reward of eternal life that can only be granted by Our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. We await that day when we can rejoice in Our Lord and see Draylen once again.
Gary Renfro, the pastor of Corinth Missionary Baptist Church, has been the family's pastor since Draylen was a baby. He spoke on behalf of the family.
"A gut punch," Renfro said. "It's been a journey."
Draylen was killed in the second package bomb explosion on March 12.
Renfro has been talking with the family throughout the nearly two weeks since Draylen's death. "They've been trying to process it. They've been trying to come together, comfort each other. Of course they've been grieving and healing," Renfro said. "He was the life of his family, and if ever you needed Draylen to do something, he would do it."
Renfro says Draylen's death has been tough on him, as well as the rest of the community. Neighbors and friends are still in disbelief Draylen is no longer here. "To realize it was one of our own, it was truly, truly heart wrenching," Renfro said.
While family and friends continue to mourn his death, Renfro says it's important to remember and celebrate his life. Draylen wanted to be a surgeon. He was a talented and dedicated musician, already accepted by the University of Texas' Butler School of Music. "We're going to miss out on what he had to offer us."
While the family is still looking for answers they may never get, they do take comfort in the fact the man who took Draylen from them is no longer on the run. "No other family has to experience what they have to experience," Renfro said. "Our deal is to have faith and trust God."