After conflicting accounts of a confrontation that left a Black Lives Matter protester dead, the man who shot him now claims he acted in self-defense.
In a written statement issued Friday, July 31, the law firm Broden & Mickelsen identified the shooter as Daniel Perry, an active duty US Army sergeant who was working as a rideshare driver at the time of the deadly shooting.
According to Broden & Mickelsen, Perry dropped off a rideshare customer near Congress Avenue before turning onto Congress Avenue near Fourth Street. Perry, who said he did not know protests were happening that night, found himself surrounded by a group of protesters.
Perry claims that Foster approached his car and motioned for him to roll down his window. Initially, Perry said he thought Foster was a member of law enforcement. Perry said at some point, Foster raised his weapon at him, prompting him to shoot Foster.
Perry’s account is consistent with that of the police and other witnesses who said that Foster pointed his weapon at the car before he was shot.
However, Foster’s mother has claimed that her son was not the aggressor and that he was peacefully protesting while pushing his quadruple amputee fiancée in her wheelchair.
“We urge the public to allow the police to conduct a full investigation,” the Broden and Mickelsen statement read. “We also need to correct statements that have been reported by the press. First, 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. Finally, and most importantly, police have interviewed witnesses who were demonstrating with Mr. Foster and these witnesses have confirmed that Mr. Foster raised his assault rifle in a direct threat to Sgt. Perry’s life.”
The day after the shooting, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told the media that the shooter called 911 to report that someone had pointed a gun at his vehicle and that he fired at the person pointing the gun. Manley said the suspect was detained, questioned and later released “pending further investigation.”
Perry is also an ardent Trump supporter and a fierce critic of the Democrats, according to a report by the Daily Mail, which reviewed his previous social media posts. Last month he wrote about using ‘deadly force’ against ‘the mobs’ and posted online about how to kill someone with a firearm.
Police had not previously identified or charged Perry.