Attorney: Fort Hood soldier who shot, killed Austin protester ‘reasonably perceived a threat’
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - First Cavalry Division Sgt. Daniel Perry, who shot and killed a protester at a Black Lives Matter protest Saturday night in Austin, fired because he “reasonably perceived a threat to his life,” the soldier’s attorney, F. Clinton Broden, said in a statement Friday.
Broden, a 1990 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, represented one of the bikers arrested and charged after the deadly May 17, 2015 shootout at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurants.
He was honored in June 2018 at a state defense lawyer’s association luncheon as a Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year for his efforts.
Garrett Foster, 28, was shot to death shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Congress Avenue and 4th Street in Austin after Perry, who Broden says was working as a ride share driver to earn extra money, turned from 4th Street onto Congress and encountered the protesters.
Austin police Chief Brian Manley told reporters he thinks Foster, who was armed with an assault rifle, pointed the weapon at Perry, but didn’t shoot.
“As the crowd surrounds his vehicle, and as some of the protesters are striking his vehicle, (Perry’s) account is that, Mr. Foster pointed the weapon directly at him, and he fired his handgun at Mr. Foster,” Manley said.
Manley confirmed that Perry was among those to call 911 after the shooting.
Perry, who Broden said served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, was headed to a hotspot after dropping off a rider when he drove up on the protest.
“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,” Broden said.
“Sgt. Perry initially believed the person was associated with law enforcement and complied with the command. After rolling down the window, it became apparent to Sgt. Perry that the individual with the assault rifle was not with law enforcement,” Broden said.
Perry, who was carrying a handgun for personal protection fired when Foster raised the assault rifle toward him, Broden said.
After Perry fired, “a member of the crowd began firing on Sgt. Perry’s vehicle,” Broden said.
Perry “drove to safety” and called 911, he said.
“Sgt. Perry never left his vehicle preceding or immediately following the shooting. Second, Sgt. Perry did not “flee” but immediately called police upon getting to safety,” he said.
Fort Hood says it’s cooperating with Austin police in the investigation of the shooting.
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