Garrett Foster was seen carrying an AK-47 rifle at a Black Lives Matter protest on July 25. The same night, he was shot. The 28-year-old died at the hospital, after being shot several times during a confrontation between a motorist and protesters. An independent journalist filming the protest and dash camera footage from another driver both captured the moment a car turned into a crowd of protesters on Congress. Seconds later, there was a volley of gunfire.
“Gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle at Mr. Foster,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said. “During the initial investigation of this incident, it appears Mr. Foster may have pointed his rifle at the driver of this vehicle prior to being shot.” the driver who says he shot and killed Foster revealed his identity late Thursday night in an email from his attorney to news media. The email identified the shooter as Daniel Perry, an active-duty soldier with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. The statement says Perry was driving for a rideshare company when he dropped a client off near Congress Avenue. He was looking for another request for pickup or food delivery when he turned right onto Congress Avenue from Fourth Street. That’s when he encountered the group of protesters. “Prior to arriving at the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue, Sgt. Perry did not know that a demonstration was taking place,” the statement says. “When Sgt. Perry turned on the Congress Avenue, several people started beating on his vehicle. An individual carrying an assault rifle, now known to be Garrett Foster, quickly approached the car and then motioned with the assault rifle for Mr. Perry to lower his window,” which the attorney says Perry did, thinking the gunman was a police officer. The attorney says Foster then began to raise his weapon, and Perry shot and fired. Perry drove a short distance away to safety while another protester shot at him. He then called police. The attorney’s statement says Perry “deeply sympathizes” with the Foster family but then concluded with a plea to the public:
“We simply ask that anybody who might want to criticize Sgt. Perry’s actions, picture themselves trapped in a car as a masked stranger raises an assault rifle in their direction and reflect upon what they might have done if faced with the split second decision faced by Sgt. Perry that evening.” [full article]