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Austin protest shooter allegedly identified as Army sergeant

Austin protest shooter allegedly identified as Army sergeant

Downtown Austin Sixth Street and Congress Avenue
The gunman in Garrett Foster's death has allegedly been identified. dszc/Getty Images

A man allegedly responsible for killing a downtown Austin protestor has been identified by his attorneys. In an undated press release issued July 31, the Dallas-based law firm Broden & Mickelsen said they are representing Daniel Perry, the supposed gunman responsible for shooting Garrett Foster during a protest on July 25. 

Austin police did not confirm the law firm's claim, nor has the department identified anyone — including Perry — as a potential suspect in the case. 

According to his attorney, Perry was working as a ridehailing driver on Saturday evening when he encountered the protests on Congress Avenue. After dropping off a customer "in the vicinity of Congress Avenue," Perry was driving to a "hot spot" to wait for new ride notifications. As he made a right onto Congress from Fourth Street, Perry encountered "a throng of people in the street," the statement reads. 

As Perry turned onto Congress Avenue, "several people started beating on his vehicle," the release claims. "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."

Perry, an active duty U.S. Army sergeant, initially believed Foster was law enforcement, says the release, and lowered his window. 

"After rolling down the window, it became apparent to Sgt. Perry that the individual with the assault rifle was not with law enforcement. It has now been confirmed by several witnesses that this individual with the assault rifle then began to raise the assault rifle toward Sgt. Perry."

Perry, who, like Foster, was licensed to carry a weapon, then shot and killed Foster. According to an Austin Police Department report issued earlier this week, Perry was then shot at by another protestor — also legally licensed to carry a gun — as he drove away.

Video of the incident, which can be seen here around the 2 hour 35 minute mark, confirms some of the claims made by Perry's attorneys. It does not show, however, whether or not Foster raised his gun — a question that has received mixed answers in interviews with witnesses. What the video does show, however, is a chaotic scene lasting mere seconds. 

In response to a request for confirmation, APD issued the following statement: 

Detectives are still in the process of canvassing the area and contacting businesses with visible cameras. Those contacted have all provided footage, which investigators are reviewing, along with video and images provided by those who were there at the time of the shooting. Any businesses with footage that have not yet been contacted are invited to proactively reach out through Crime Stoppers or via the APD Homicide Unit email address listed above.

In addition, there are rumors circulating about the identity of those involved. What we can definitively say is that no one involved in this case has any connection to law enforcement agencies, including APD.

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. For this reason, we cannot confirm any names, nor do we condone the publication of unconfirmed names.

The APD Homicide Unit continues its commitment to conducting thorough and impartial investigations based on facts.

Austin Police Department requests anyone with information or those who were in the immediate proximity of the vehicle and witnessed the incident contact the Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS (8477) or email homicide.apd@austintexas.gov.