A protest in Austin, Texas ended in tragedy on Saturday night when one demonstrator was killed by a seemingly random shooting. According to a report by ABC News 7, Garrett Foster was pushing his fiance along with the protest in her wheelchair. When the shooter sped towards the protest in his car and began firing, Foster reportedly pushed his fiance out of the way and was killed in the ensuing gunfire.
Foster and his fiance, Whitney Mitchell, were in marching with a massive Black Lives Matter protest in Austin on Saturday. The two were passing through an intersection with other marchers when an attacker honked his horn and drove his car towards the crowd, as if to hit someone. They then fired randomly into the crowd, killing Foster, while he pushed Mitchell out of harm's way. The protest was reportedly peaceful otherwise, and the shooter was arrested.
Garrett Foster was murdered last night peacefully protesting at a BLACK LIVES MATTER protest in Austin, Texas with his fiance, whitney, who is a quadruple amputee because of serious medical negligence.
She was thrown off her wheelchair and he was shot 3 times.
SAY HIS NAME 😭 pic.twitter.com/q13r3JR35u— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) July 26, 2020
Austin Police Department spokesperson Katrina Ratliff told ABC News that a suspect had been detained and was cooperating with police. Foster's mother, Sheila, appeared on Good Morning America, where she said the shooter was a man. "This gentleman got out of the car and started firing shots, and my son was shot three times," she said.
Sheila refuted the story of one witness who and that he approached the shooter's car threateningly, with his own rifle drawn. So far, video footage from the scene does not offer a clear view of the shooting. It is not yet clear if Foster was carrying his own firearm, but witnesses say the driver was the lone aggressor.
Foster was transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead soon after arriving. Social media has filled with prayers and tributes to Foster, and to Mitchell as well. Reporters confirmed that Mitchell is a quadruple amputee, and some Austin locals on social media have said that her condition is a result of medical negligence, which is a symptom of systemic racism that the protesters were trying to address.
Black Live Matter protests continue around the country, with tragic outbreaks of violence like this one spread throughout. On Saturday night, thousands of protesters took to rainy streets in New York City. At the same time, protesters continue their confrontational face-offs with police and federal agents in Portland, Oregon, while similar unmarked federal forces made their way into Chicago, Illinois. Many state and local leaders are resisting the Trump administrations efforts to send these troops into American cities.