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Rideshare driver indicted on murder charge in fatal shooting at 2020 BLM protest in Austin

People gather at a vigil in honor of Garrett Foster who was fatally shot at an Austin protest.
Marshall Tridick/Texas Tribune
People gather at a vigil in honor of Garrett Foster who was fatally shot at an Austin protest.

AUSTIN, Texas — 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.

Earlier on Friday, Clint Broden, an attorney for Perry, told CNN a statement about his client was forthcoming.

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

Last year, the defense lawyer Broden said Perry was working as a rideshare driver and dropped off a passenger before turning down a street and encountering a BLM protest.

Broden said witnesses reported that people began beating on Perry’s car and Foster, a Black Lives Matter protester with an assault-style rifle, approached.

“It was only then that Sgt. Perry, who carried a handgun in his car for his own protection while driving strangers in the ride share program, fired on the person to protect his own life,” Broden said.

At the time of the shooting, Broden said Perry was an active duty sergeant in army. CNN has not been able to confirm that Perry is still in the military.

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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