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A reportedly armed Black Lives Matter protester in Austin, Texas, was shot dead when the man allegedly approached a vehicle and the motorist opened fire.
The incident took place Saturday night during a protest in the city, as demonstrators marched in the street shutting down traffic.
According to an online account, the armed protester allegedly banged on the back of a vehicle and the driver got out and fired as many as eight shots.
The incident was captured on FB Live by Hiram Gilberto, and a clip of that video is seen here:
Someone opened fire at the Austin protest. pic.twitter.com/cIRah6f3fQ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 26, 2020
The Austin Police Department, which was on hand and allowing protesters to take control of the streets, took the shooter into custody and the man is cooperating with authorities, according to The Statesman.
“One adult male victim was located with a gunshot wound,” Officer Katrina Ratcliff said, before confirming that the man was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “Initial reports indicate that the victim may have been carrying a rifle and approached the suspect vehicle. Suspect was in the vehicle and shot at the victim. Suspect was detained and is cooperating with officers.”
APD update about tonight’s shooting downtown. pic.twitter.com/xx5OBow9ut
— Danny Davis (@aasdanny) July 26, 2020
In the video below, the protester is seen receiving CPR from first responders.
Video from the scene after a car pulled up and opened fire on protesters at Congress & Fourth. One victim is confirmed, their condition is unknown. CPR was administered on the scene.
— Austin Chronicle (@AustinChronicle) July 26, 2020
Facebook user Robert Garrett shared a video of the incident.
“Sorry there isn’t sound as I had to record this with my phone off the computer, but when you see the big dude with the blackshirt walk behind the car he banged on the trunk, and that was my clue to get out. As soon as shots were fired I called 911,” he wrote.
Here’s the shooting, unfortunately I didn’t catch the actual shooting, but hopefully they can use it to identify some of these idiots! Sorry there isn’t sound as I had to record this with my phone off the computer, but when you see the big dude with the blackshirt walk behind the car he banged on the trunk, and that was my clue to get out. As soon as shots were fired I called 911 and before the dispatcher could say “you need police fire or EMS” I just said shots fired shots fired 4th and Congress” she then got as much info as she could, cops started screaming down the street and all hell broke loose. 10 minutes before this shooting I called and reported one of them (the protestors) had an assault rifle.
As I was walking away from the earlier videos, I saw these officers standing there getting spit at and yelled at. I went to one of the officers that was away from the crowd, and told him that they were appreciated and not to listen to the nonsense that there were a lot of people that supported them, it’s just the small group that doesn’t that is the loudest! You could see the defeat in his face, he appreciated what I said, but you could just tell, these guys and gals are hurting!
Austin was an amazing place, where even though we may disagree, we all respected each other, it was a safe, fun place to be. But the a$$ Austin Mayor Steve Adler has ruined this city. Crime is way up, it’s not safe anymore! for the first time in my life, i am ashamed to call myself an Austinite!
Posted by Robert Garrett on Saturday, July 25, 2020
According to one protester, the man shot was a regular at BLM protests and was with his fiance, who is in a wheelchair.
Here are firsthand accounts from other protesters:
Witness explains what she saw: pic.twitter.com/DfkpqPTFk0
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) July 26, 2020
About 50 protesters returned to Austin Police Department headquarters early Sunday, where that had convened hours earlier, the Statesman reported.
“A visibly grieving woman, who is believed to be the victim’s fiance, joined protesters. Protesters surrounded her to give her their condolences while chanting what appeared to be the victim’s name,” the paper added.
Chants down at APD HQ as the victim’s fiancé returned to mourn with friends and supporters. pic.twitter.com/9TQCsCssai
— Danny Davis (@aasdanny) July 26, 2020
The name being chanted is Garrett Foster, and there is a video making the rounds on Twitter of Foster talking about why he was carrying what he identified as “an AK-47.”
(Texas is an open-carry state when it comes to long guns — handguns can also be open carried with a license.)
“They don’t let us march in the streets anymore, so I’ve got to practice some of our rights,” he responded.
Foster was asked if he felt like he would need to use the weapon.
“Nah,” he replied. “I mean, if I use it against the cops I’m dead. I think all the people that hate us and want to say shit to us are too big of p-ssies to stop and actually do anything about it.”
The protest had been taking place for several hours, as seen in the FB Live video that captured the shooting — the incident takes place at the 2:35 hour mark.
In a separate post, Hiram Gilberto added: “A protestor was shot with LIVE ROUNDS today. I was no more ten feet from the shooter and running towards his car. It was TOO CLOSE. Currently on my way to give a witness statement to APD. KEEP THOSE AFFECTED IN YOUR THOUGHTS.”
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