TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A grand jury will consider whether to bring charges after the shooting death of a Black Lives Matter protester last summer, the Travis County district attorney announced Friday.
District Attorney José Garza said in a statement his office will bring the case of Garrett Foster’s death to the grand jury “in the next several weeks” to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
“Coming to a decision in these kinds of cases can be particularly challenging, and we are grateful to the grand jury for their service and commitment to considering all evidence and law,” Garza said. “We remain deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Foster. Our hearts break for his family, loved ones and members of the community, who have suffered an immeasurable loss.”
Foster died after a shooting at a protest he attended in downtown Austin near Fourth and Congress in July 2020.
Police at the time said a car turned into a group of protesters in the roadway near Fourth Street and Congress Avenue, and the driver told them he was approached by a man, later identified as Foster, who was carrying a gun.
“Gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle at Mr. Foster,” APD Chief Brian Manley said at the time. “During the initial investigation of this incident, it appears Mr. Foster may have pointed his rifle at the driver of this vehicle prior to being shot.”
A few days after that shooting, an attorney representing the man who said he shot and killed Foster told KXAN it happened “in self defense.” The attorney identified his client as Daniel Perry, adding he’s an active duty sergeant with the U.S. Army from north Texas and has served a tour in Afghanistan.
Perry’s attorney, Clint Broden, released a statement Friday afternoon after KXAN reached out for comment. He said he is not surprised by this development, but he reiterated Perry acted in self-defense and that he had “passed a polygraph” that affirmed that belief.
“[When] grand jurors ask themselves what they would do in the split-second following a person raising an assault rifle toward them, we are confident the grand jury will conclude that Sgt. Perry’s actions of self/defense were justified,” Broden said. “To be clear, Mr. Foster’s death was tragic, and Sgt. Perry sympathizes with the loss suffered by Mr. Foster’s family.”
The attorney of Whitney Mitchell, Foster’s fiancée, released a statement to KXAN on Friday:
“Whitney would very much like to share what she witnessed the night her fiancé was killed. Unfortunately, Texas law prohibits public discussion of the facts of the case, at this point, in order to preserve the integrity of the process. However, we are looking forward to the grand jury getting to hear all of the evidence, and ultimately getting some long awaited justice for Garrett.”
Garza said his office will update the public on this case when the grand jury reaches a decision on potential charges.