The man who shot and killed a protester carrying an AK-47 during a demonstration in downtown Austin last weekend is now telling his side of the story. Austin television station KXAN received an email from attorney Clint Broden on Thursday evening, who says he’s representing Daniel Perry, an Army sergeant on active duty who claims to be the driver of the vehicle that was surrounded by demonstrators.
According to Broden’s email, Perry was working for a rideshare company when he dropped off a customer near the site of the demonstrations. As he was waiting for a new fare, Perry took a turn onto Congress Avenue, not realizing that demonstrators had blocked the street.
“When Sgt. Perry turned on the Congress Avenue, several people started beating on his
vehicle. An individual carrying an assault rifle, now known to be Garrett Foster, quickly approached the car and then motioned with the assault rifle for Mr. Perry to lower his window,” which the attorney says Perry did, thinking the gunman was a police officer.
The attorney says Foster then began to raise his weapon, and Perry shot and fired. Perry drove a short distance away to safety while another protester shot at him. He then called police.
The attorney’s statement says Perry “deeply sympathizes” with the Foster family but then concluded with a plea to the public:
“We simply ask that anybody who might want to criticize Sgt. Perry’s actions,
picture themselves trapped in a car as a masked stranger raises an assault rifle in their direction and reflect upon what they might have done if faced with the split second decision faced by Sgt. Perry that evening.”
Broden goes on to say that his client welcomes a full investigation into the shooting, and points out that Perry himself called 911 after he drove away from the scene of the shooting for his own safety. Police haven’t charged Perry with any crime, and say they’re investigating the actions of Foster, Perry, and a third man who fired several shots at Perry as he sped away after the shooting.
KXAN spends quite a bit of time pointing out that both Uber and Lyft require drivers to be unarmed while they’re on the job, even if they’re in their own vehicle.
Lyft’s website says it has a strict “no weapons” policy, which includes times that drivers are working and representing the company.
“This means that even in places where it is legal to carry a weapon, we ask that you do not carry a weapon on any Lyft property,” the website said.
Uber’s website says it does not allow drivers or their guests to carry firearms while using the app.
“Uber prohibits riders and their guests, as well as driver and delivery partners, from carrying firearms of any kind while using the app, to the extent permitted by applicable law.”
If Perry violated the policies of the ride share company he was working for at the time of the shooting, he may not be able to continue on as a driver, but it’s not a criminal offense. In fact, as we’ve pointed out here at Bearing Arms in the past, there are plenty of drivers that have had to use their firearms in self-defense, even though they were supposed to be disarmed on the job. It’s a dumb policy, frankly, and it seems like a good number of contractors choose to ignore it in favor of being able to protect themselves if necessary.
The big question at the moment is whether police and prosecutors will agree with Sgt. Perry that he reasonably believed that his life was in danger when Garrett Foster approached his vehicle as other demonstrators were surrounding the car and beating on it with their hands. Authorities say they’re still looking for eyewitnesses to the incident, so it could be some time before we learn whether any charges will be filed.