Army sergeant working as ride-hailing driver shot Austin protester in self-defense, his lawyer says
By KELSEY BRADSHAW | Austin American-Statesman | Published: July 31, 2020
AUSTIN, Texas (Tribune News Service) — A Dallas-based attorney has identified the man who fatally shot Garrett Foster last weekend during a downtown protest as U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry.
Perry was driving for a ride-hailing company on July 25 to earn extra money, a statement from the law firm Broden & Mickelsen says. Perry is being represented by Clint Broden.
Austin police have not confirmed Perry is the shooter.
Perry had dropped off a rider near Congress Avenue the night of the protest and drove toward a "hot spot" to wait for another client or food order. He turned right onto Congress Avenue near Fourth Street, the statement says.
When Perry turned on to Congress Avenue, he encountered the protest and several people began hitting his vehicle. The statement says Perry did not know a protest was happening that night.
Foster, whom Perry at first thought was a law enforcement official, approached his vehicle and motioned with an assault rifle for him to lower his window, the statement says. Perry realized after rolling down his window that Foster was not a member of law enforcement.
The statement says Foster began to raise his rifle at Perry. Witnesses have told the American-Statesman that Foster had his weapon pointed down.
Perry shot at Foster with a handgun he kept in his vehicle for protection, the statement says.
A third person then shot at the vehicle. Perry left the area and called police, the statement says.
In a statement Friday, the Austin Police Department Homicide Unit said it is still investigating and urges anyone with video and photos to come forward. The police added they do not “condone the publication of unconfirmed names,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
“This incident is of immense importance to our community and has generated questions that deserve answers,” APD said in a statement. “We have not released any suspect or witness information during this active investigation. This is done to minimize external influence that could obstruct witness and suspect testimony and impede future legal proceedings.”