Garrett Foster and his life long friend and fiancé Whitney
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police have identified an armed protester who was shot and killed by a person who had driven into a crowd at a demonstration against police violence in the Texas capital.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Garrett Foster, 28, was shot and killed Saturday night as demonstrators marched through downtown Austin.
Manley said officers heard “two separate volleys of gunfire” and made their way to the crowd where they found Foster suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Foster was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Manley said a vehicle turned onto the block where protesters stood and honked its horn. Police declined to say why the driver was there at that time or whether his intent was nefarious.
Witness Michael Capochiano told the Austin American-Statesman that the car sped through the protesters before it apparently hit an orange barrier and stopped.
In a video that was streamed live on Facebook, a car can be heard honking before several shots ring out and protesters start screaming and scattering. Police can then be seen tending to someone lying in the street.
Manley said the driver and several witnesses told police Foster approached the driver-side window of the vehicle and pointed an assault rifle at the driver.
The driver said they shot Foster and drove off, police said.
Manley said the driver called 911 and reported the incident. That person was taken into custody but later released. The driver’s name wasn’t immediately released.
The second round of shots was fired by protesters who witnessed the shooting, Manley said. The shooter fired at the car while it drove away. That person was also taken into custody but later released, Manley said.
In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sheila Foster said Garrett was her son and he had been a regular at the protests with his fiancée.
“They’ve been participating in these protests almost every day for the past 50 days,” she said.
Sheila Foster said she was told her son was pushing his fiancee, who uses a wheelchair, through an intersection when the suspect was driving “erratically” through the crowd. She said she was told the driver shot her son three times.
The shooting happened during a night of protests and unrest in several U.S. cities.