AUSTIN (KXAN) — Daniel Perry paced back and forth for about 30 minutes, waiting for an Austin Police Department detective to question him after he shot and killed a Black Lives Matter protester in downtown Austin in July 2020.
That’s according to APD footage.
Perry is accused of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the death of Garrett Foster. The interview footage shown in court was from a short time after the shooting.
“Sir…hello?” Perry yelled from the inside of the interview room at APD headquarters, as he knocked on the door, according to the footage. Multiple APD officers tried to calm Perry down, offering him water and asking him to take deep breaths.
In the interview video, you hear one of the officers empathize with Perry, saying he knows the process is stressful.
Perry then proceeds to start hysterically crying, asking not to be left alone, the video shows.
“Oh my God, oh my God, he’s dead,” Perry said. “I’m sorry!”
In the video, Perry was told he wasn’t under arrest, and that he didn’t have to speak with the detective that night. Still, Perry said he wanted to speak with the police.
In this sit-down with police, Perry told them he was in town working for Uber to make more money. He also revealed he was an Army sergeant at Fort Hood.
Perry told the detective he got a text from a woman he met while working for Uber earlier that day. He said he got distracted while texting her because she asked for money to go on a date with him. Perry said he looked up and he was in the crowd of protesters on Congress Street in downtown Austin, according to the video.
That’s contrary to what protesters have testified. Multiple witnesses said Perry drove into the crowd and sped up as he did.
An APD Crime Analyst who testified on Monday, said Perry didn’t receive or send any texts a few minutes before shooting Foster, as he turned into the crowd. The analyst also said Perry didn’t make or receive any calls during this time either. But testimony revealed that doesn’t mean he wasn’t on his phone, the data just simply doesn’t reflect that.
The detective questioned Perry about how Foster approached his car.
“I was honking my horn because they were hitting the side of my car,” Perry told the APD detective. “One of the guys with the rifles looked like he wanted to talk to me, so rolled my window down…when I saw him raise his weapon, I grabbed my revolver.”
The detective actively asked Perry to demonstrate how high Foster raised the barrel of his rifle when Foster approached Perry’s car.
Perry repeatedly told police he was in fear for his life.
“All I know is that he was raising it up at me, and I was in fear for my life…I panicked,” Perry said.
After the interrogation, Perry seemed to be much more relaxed. One officer came back into the room, to keep Perry company while Perry waited for his DNA samples to be taken.
“I’m going to hang out with you a bit,” the officer said. “How long have you been in the Army?”
As evidence was collected, Perry and officers laughed. During some moments, Perry even made jokes.
“Do I get to keep the jumpsuit?,” Perry asked the officers, before they gave him another shirt. The detective told Perry he wanted to take the one he had on, for evidence.
“I have no idea, man,” an officer responded, with a slight chuckle.
Perry appeared to be in a better state of mind, after the interrogation, than when he first walked into the police station.
“Thank you, Mr. Perry, for all that,” an officer collecting Perry’s DNA said.
Something else the footage showed: Perry thanking officers more than once, saying they’re under-appreciated. Officers were very accommodating to Perry the entire time, as he did appear to be fully cooperative.
We’ve heard from more than 30 witnesses from both the state and defense, including several police officers who were on scene that night.
Follow Reporter Jala Washington on Twitter, who has been covering this trial extensively. She will provide live updates.