An unidentified motorist was in downtown Austin last night at a busy intersection. Unfortunately for him, downtown was also the scene of what the Austin American-Statesman describes as “a protest against police violence.”
Here’s the Statesman’s description of what happened:
The shooting happened about 9:50 p.m. at Fourth Street and Congress Avenue, EMS officials said. Austin police said the male victim was carrying a weapon when he approached a vehicle. The person in the vehicle then shot the man.
According to a witness, the incident began when the driver on Fourth Street honked, turned right and sped down Congress, driving through the crowd. He appeared to hit an orange barrier in the road and came to a stop, said Michael Capochiano, who attended the protest.
“There were people around the car, yelling, and people sounding like they were frightened,” Capochiano said.
A protester with a rifle approached the car, and the driver pointed his gun outside the window, Capochiano said. The driver fired several shots, then sped away, he said.
The man with the rifle “dropped to the ground when he got shot,” Capochiano said.
The protester with the rifle was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
APD update about tonight’s shooting downtown. pic.twitter.com/xx5OBow9ut
— Danny Davis (@aasdanny) July 26, 2020
As the officer in the above video explains, the man in the car was in custody and is cooperating with police. Here’s video of the shooting:
Clip of the shooting at the protest in Austin Texas from Hiram Gilberto on FB pic.twitter.com/VFbzqfoSff
— Anthony Martino (@anthonyfartino) July 26, 2020
The Statesman’s description exaggerates what happened. The car didn’t “speed down Congress.” It appears the driver pulled only a few feet into the crowd before he was stopped and the marchers approached. You can hear honking. Then, as the crowd gathers around the car, five shots rang out, followed by three more.
The dead man has been identified as Garrett Foster. A site called newsbreak.com reports that Foster was seen earlier in the evening on video saying, “the ‘people who hate us’ are ‘too big of p-ssies to actually do anything about it’ when asked why he was carrying a rifle.”
We haven’t been able to locate that video yet.
The driver will certainly be asked why he chose to pull into the crowd and much more about what happened isn’t yet known. Did Foster point his rifle at the car? Were threats made? Is there more, clearer video showing what happened? All of this will be revealed in the coming days.
UPDATE: Here’s video of comments Foster made about carrying a rifle before he was shot and killed.
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