AUSTIN, Texas — The man who shot an Austin protester July 25 was confirmed to be an active duty Fort Hood sergeant who has been stationed on post for nearly two years.
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. 6 News later confirmed that Perry was stationed on Fort Hood.
The attorney who said he is representing the soldier claims Perry was acting in self-defense.
According to the lawyer, 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 Garrett 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.
"We urge the public to allow the police to conduct a full investigation," the lawyer's 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."
The lawyer's statement said Perry and his family deeply sympathize with the grief Foster's family is experiencing and that Perry is "devastated by what happened."
"Nevertheless, that does not change facts," the lawyer's statement read.
"We simply ask that anybody who might want to criticize Sgt. Perry’s actions, picture themselves trapped in a car as a masked stranger raises an assault rifle in their direction and reflect upon what they might have done if faced with the split second decision faced by Sgt. Perry that evening," the statement said.
Chief Manley said a second person, who is believed to have been standing in the crowd, may have opened fire on the car as it drove away. That person was also released.