Garrett Foster: Soldier Daniel Perry who allegedly shot Austin protester thought activist was a cop, say lawyers
'An individual carrying an assault rifle quickly approached the car and then motioned with the rifle for Mr Perry to lower his window'
Dallas-based law firm Brode & Mickelsen just claimed that it is representing the soldier stationed at Fort Hood who allegedly fatally shot armed demonstrator Garrett Foster at an Austin rally against police violence last weekend, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. On July 30, the firm confirmed that they will represent Sgt. Daniel Perry, who is on active duty with the US Army.
Even though Perry has not been charged, Austin police are yet to name him as a suspect. The police have requested for tips and videos to help them in investigating Foster. For the uninitiated, Foster, 28, was shot on July 25 when protesters were marching through downtown Austin. He was pronounced dead later when he was taken to the hospital.
According to the law firm, the sergeant was driving for a ride-share company that night and after dropping off a customer was waiting for his next client. He then turned onto Congress Avenue, according to Kut 90.5, and encountered the BLM protesters. According to a statement issued by attorney Clint Brode, Perry had no idea about what was happening. The statement reads: "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."
According to the report, Perry assumed Foster was a part of the law enforcement team, but allegedly when Foster raised his weapon towards him, the latter realized he wasn’t a police officer. The statement said several witnesses confirmed this account. Perry was carrying a handgun, and according to the statement by Broden, fired in “self-defense”. Then, apparently, someone fired at Perry’s vehicle, and that’s when he drove away and called the police. The attorney said that Perry was cooperating with the investigation. Broden also offered “sympathy” to Foster’s family on behalf of his client. "Sgt. Perry is devastated by what happened," Broden said.
According to the report, US Army officials confirmed that Perry is on active duty and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. "The unit continues to cooperate with the Austin Police Department in their ongoing investigation," Army officials said on July 31 in a statement. Perry is a decorated soldier from North Texas who has served in the military for eight years, Broden said.
According to a Kxan report, Austin Police have not officially confirmed Perry is the shooter, but have said all of the parties involved in the incident were fully cooperative and were later released. The investigation is still going on.
The Kxan report also states a vigil of flowers, candles and paintings grows on the corner of 4th and Congress in downtown Austin for Foster. Two men — Michael Ross and Joshua Franklin — stand guard, ensuring vandals don’t come near. According to the report, Franklin said, “I don’t see how it’s self-defense when he brought the car into there. He was intending to do damage one way or another, either with that car or with the gun,” Franklin said.