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Police reveal identity of man killed at Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas

An attendee at a vigil for Garrett Foster on Sunday in downtown Austin, Texas.
An attendee at a vigil for Garrett Foster on Sunday in downtown Austin, Texas. 
Sergio Flores/Getty Images
  • The police have identified a man who was fatally shot Saturday night at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas, as Garrett Foster, 28.
  • The Austin Police Department said Foster was carrying a rifle when he approached a vehicle and was shot by its driver.
  • A witness told the Austin-American Statesman that the driver had turned down Congress Avenue, honked their car horn, drove through the crowd, and hit an orange barrel, frightening the demonstrators. 
  • According to the police, the driver of the vehicle and other witnesses said Foster pointed a gun at the car’s occupant.
  • Another witness disputed that account, however. “He was not aiming the gun or doing anything aggressive with the gun,” Michael Capochiano, a 53-year-old accountant, told The New York Times.
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The police have identified the protester killed Saturday night during a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas, as Garrett Foster, 28.

Chief Brian Manley of the Austin Police Department confirmed Foster’s identity Sunday evening, the Associated Press reported.

Witnesses said Foster, who was armed, was shot by the driver of a car that had sped toward the gathering of protesters.

According to the police, the driver of the vehicle and other witnesses said Foster was shot only after he pointed his rifle at its driver. 

Another witness disputed that, however.

“He was not aiming the gun or doing anything aggressive with the gun,” Michael Capochiano, a 53-year-old accountant, told The New York Times. “I’m not sure if there was much of an exchange of words. It wasn’t like there was any sort of verbal altercations. He wasn’t charging at the car.”

The driver who killed Foster is said to have driven off after the shooting amid a spray of return fire from at least one other protester. The police took the driver, whose identity has not been revealed, into custody before releasing the person.

Foster was transported to the local Dell Seton Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, a police representative said at a press briefing earlier Sunday.

Capochiano told the Austin-American Statesman that a person driving a vehicle honked their horn and sped down Austin’s Congress Avenue, hitting an orange barrel and driving through the crowd.

“There were people around the car, yelling, and people sounding like they were frightened,” he told the paper.

As the Austin-American Statesman reported, a car horn could be heard in the background of a video livestreamed to Facebook — just before eight gunshots. The video shows protesters running away from the vehicle, screaming.

A vigil for Foster was held Sunday in Austin, drawing hundreds.

“I’m here to show solidarity for the movement that he died for and also to remember him and to continue the fight,” one attendee, Mark Bell, told the local television station KXAN.

Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police violence have erupted across the US since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While most protests have been peaceful, they’ve sometimes turned chaotic and even deadly.

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