AUSTIN, Texas - A Travis County grand jury will consider criminal charges in the case of Garrett Foster, according to District Attorney José Garza.
Foster was fatally shot while participating in a protest in Austin in July 2020.
Over the next several weeks, the District Attorney’s trial division will present the evidence and ask the grand jury to consider whether criminal charges should be brought against Sgt. Daniel Perry, the U.S. Army sergeant who was driving for Uber when he shot Foster.
District Attorney Garza issued the following statement:
"In the next several weeks, our office will present to a Travis County grand jury the facts surrounding the death of Garrett Foster and the grand jury will determine whether a criminal case should move forward. 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.
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."
Clint Broden, one of the lawyers representing Sgt. Daniel Perry, released the following statement following the announcement that the case is going to a grand jury:
"Given the pressure that is being put on the District Attorney’s Office, it is not a surprise that it elected to present this matter to a grand jury despite the fact that Sgt. Perry passed a polygraph fully supporting the fact that he acted in self-defense that evening.
We have confidence in the grand jury. When the grand jury learns of all the facts
surrounding Mr. Foster’s past and his association with the Boogaloo Boys militia group and 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.
To be clear, Mr. Foster’s death was tragic, and Sgt. Perry sympathizes with the loss suffered by Mr. Foster’s family. Nevertheless, this does not change the fact that Sgt. Perry acted in self-defense on July 25, 2020, after Mr. Foster, for whatever reason, began raising his assault rifle at Sgt. Perry."
The District Attorney’s Office will update the public on this case when a decision is rendered, according to a press release from the office.
WHO IS GARRETT FOSTER?
In July 2020, Garrett Foster and his fiancee Whitney Mitchell were participating in a demonstration in downtown Austin. As protestors marched down Congress Avenue, passing 4th street, U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry turned south, onto Congress from 4th, driving into the crowd.
Perry’s attorney, Clint Broden says it was an accident. He says Perry, who is stationed at Fort Hood, was driving for Uber. Foster's family believes Perry drove the car into the crowd intentionally.
Austin police say protestors began hitting Perry's car. Some protestors say Perry aggressively drove through the crowd, honking his horn. Foster, then approached Perry’s driver-side window with a rifle. He legally carried the gun. His mother says he carried it for protection at protests.
Perry claims Foster raised the gun.
The question of whether Foster raised his rifle has been at the center of an Austin Police investigation. Perry drew a concealed handgun and fatally shot Foster three times. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says witnesses described "several different versions of the incident."
"Garrett loved everybody. Garrett had a really special place in his heart for people who were excluded. He wanted everyone to feel included and equal," said his mother, Sheila Foster.