Garrett Foster BLM Austin, Texas protester who brought his gun to demonstrations shot dead after driver plows into crowds. Second shooter sought.
###Update: The suspect in the fatal shooting of a Black Lives Matter protester in Texas over the weekend has been released from custody after telling investigators he fired in self-defense after the demonstrator pointed a gun at his vehicle.
### Original post: A Black Lives Matter protestor shot and killed in Austin, Texas, Saturday night has been identified as Garrett Foster. The man’s death comes whilst the activist was pushing his quadruple-amputee fiancee’s wheelchair moments before being gunned down by a driver who plowed his vehicle into protesters.
Following the motorist driving into demonstrators, just on 10 p.m. Saturday, Foster, who had an open weapon carry license — who had been carrying an AK-47 rifle strapped along his chest, approached the driver, at which point the motorist gunned him down, police said.
The open carrying of long guns is generally allowed in Texas.
Eyewitness Michael Capochiano told The Statesman that ‘there were people around the car, yelling, and people sounding like they were frightened,’ before several gunshots rang out leading to scores scattering.
The witness said moments before the shooting, the vehicle had honked, turned down a road, before speeding toward protesters.
Victim’s mother questions shooting narrative
The vehicle which had come to a stop then became surrounded by shouting demonstrators, with Foster approaching the vehicle carrying his AK-47, Capochiano recalled.
The driver then stuck a gun out of the car window and fired several shots, hitting Foster, before speeding away, according to the witness. The driver turned himself into authorities shortly after.
The victim’s mother, Sheila Foster has since questioned the narrative of last night’s tragic events, saying her son was pushing fiancee Whitney Mitchell through an intersection when the gunman opened fire, ABC News reported.
‘And this gentleman got out of his car and started firing shots, and my son was shot three times,’ she said.
Foster’s mother said her son has a license to carry and ‘would have felt the need to protect himself. Some of these things we have seen on the media have tended to go a little violently. It was a chaotic situation. There were relatively a thousand people at the protest and someone was driving erratically through the crowd. People were getting out of the way and telling this gentleman to slow down and telling him to just stop driving because he was at risk of hitting someone.’ She said that is when Foster was shot.
Garrett was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Ironically, moments before being fatally shot, Foster was filmed speaking to local media about why he was carrying his AK-47.
Garrett Foster, the Black Lives Matter supporter who was shot and killed tonight in Austin, TX, was interviewed with his AK47.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 26, 2020
‘Got to practice our gun rights’
In the video, Foster is heard saying: ‘They don’t let us march in the streets anymore so gotta practice some of our rights.’
Austin police said the driver is in custody and cooperating with police.
Police have since confirmed there were two shooters, with one shooter being the driver and the other being in the crowd who may have opened fire as the car was driving away. Foster was not identified as one of the shooters.
Officers over the weekend brought in a second gunman who shot at the car as it sped off. Both the driver and second man’s guns were seized for evidence.
The Black Lives Matter demonstration was streamed live on Facebook and captured audio of a vehicle’s horn honking.
Footage posted during the Facebook Live showed the moment when several shots rang out as a group of about 100 people marched and chanted ‘fists up! Fight back!’
There were no other deaths or injuries reported. No other details from police or the EMS were immediately available.
Austin aftermath scene from the shooting at a BLM protest. pic.twitter.com/QGLGa5Ngzg
— Simulation Warlord🇺🇸 (@zerosum24) July 26, 2020