Rideshare Driver Indicted on Murder Charge in Fatal Shooting at 2020 BLM Protest in Austin, Texas

Wire Service
By Wire Service
July 3, 2021USshare
Rideshare Driver Indicted on Murder Charge in Fatal Shooting at 2020 BLM Protest in Austin, Texas
Daniel Perry, in an undated photo. (Provided by Broden & Micklsen)

A Texas district attorney announced that a grand jury has indicted Daniel Perry on charges including murder in the death of a man at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020.

Perry also was indicted on one count of aggravated assault and one misdemeanor count of deadly conduct stemming from the July 25, 2020, rally in Austin, Travis County District Attorney José Garza said.

The indictments say Perry was charged with murder for fatally shooting Garrett Foster, and was charged with aggravated assault because he threatened a woman with imminent bodily injury by driving a motor vehicle in the direction of the woman.

The deadly conduct indictment says Perry put pedestrians in danger by texting while driving, turning at a red light without first coming to a complete stop, turning into an intersection where pedestrians were visible in the crosswalk, and “by driving into a group of people in the roadway.”

Investigators presented 150 exhibits and testimony from 22 witnesses to the grand jury over three weeks, the news release said.

Garza expressed his sympathy to Foster’s family and friends in a news conference and said, “We take our responsibility to present in front of the grand jury very seriously, and in this case our office presented an extensive collection of evidence to the grand jury for their consideration.”

Perry’s bail has been set for $250,000 for the murder and aggravated assault case and $50,000 for the misdemeanor deadly conduct case, according to the news release.

Suspect’s Lawyer Says Protester Pointed Rifle

Perry’s lawyer, Clint Broden, issued a statement saying Perry was an army sergeant based at Fort Hood who was working as a rideshare driver that night. He’d just dropped off a passenger before turning down a street and encountering a BLM protest, Broden said.

Broden said several people began beating on Perry’s car and a man carrying an assault-style rifle approached the car and motioned with the rifle for Perry to lower his window.

“Foster, the individual with the assault rifle, began to raise the AK-47 toward Sgt. Perry. It was only then that Sgt. Perry, who carried a handgun in his car for his own protection, fired on Foster because he believed his life to be in jeopardy,” Broden said.

Broden said Perry did not drive his car into the crowd in an attempt to injure people.

“To be clear, the death of Foster was tragic, and Sgt. Perry deeply sympathizes with the loss and grief experienced by Foster’s family. Nevertheless, that does not change facts,” Broden said.

Brian Manley, then the Austin police chief, said officers responded to a 911 call in which the caller stated they had just shot someone who approached their car window and pointed a rifle at them.

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