DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The armed protester who was shot and killed by a driver in Austin Saturday night, had ties to the DFW area.
Garrett Foster’s sister has posted a message on social media defending her brother’s actions and insisting he did nothing to provoke the shooting despite being armed with an AK-47.
Gunshots rang out in Downtown Austin on Saturday night during a Black Lives Matter protest.
It was the latest in a series of protests that the 28-year-old Foster and his wife or fiancée Tiffany Mitchell have been taking part in.
Foster was carrying the AK-47 around his neck when witnesses say a car came close to the crowd of marchers.
Witnesses say there was a confrontation with the driver who opened fire, shooting Foster three times.
He died at a hospital.
The driver took off, but later called police and told them Foster pointed his rifle.
That’s something Foster’s sister, Anna Mayo, took issue with posting on Facebook.
“The man was there with intent to hurt someone. My brother died trying to protect the love of his life. My brother was not a monster. He was innocent in this,” said Mayo.
Minutes before the shooting, Foster was interviewed by a reporter about why he brought a weapon to the march.
Foster: It’s an AK-47.
Reporter: Why do you got it out tonight?
Foster: They don’t let us march in the streets anymore, so I got to practice some of our rights. I think, I mean if I use it against the cops I’m dead.”
The head of the Austin Police Association tweeted the video with the message that Foster was looking for confrontation and he found it.
An online fundraising campaign has already raised more than $108,000 for Tiffany Mitchell, who Foster was married or engaged to.
She was the subject of a CBS 11 News profile back in 2013 with her inspiring story of surviving sepsis which led to the amputation of all of her limbs.
Mitchell was in a wheelchair at the protest near Foster when he was shot.
At last check, Austin Police have not arrested the unidentified shooter who is claiming self defense.
That person and Foster reportedly both had permits to carry their guns.
In defending her brother, Mayo went on to say, “He did not point his gun at anyone. The picture floating around shows him clearly pointing it downwards. If you’ve held a gun against your body, you know you have to hold it so it’s not smacking you in the chest while you walk… We are an open carry state. He was in the military and trained on how to use a firearm. He had every right to have his weapon on him. He was completely within his rights to walk around with a gun. Regardless of how you may feel, he was doing nothing wrong.”