A man who killed an AK-47-toting protester in Austin, Texas, after the latter approached his vehicle, was identified as a US Army sergeant. The man insists he fired at Garret Foster after he threatened him with the rifle.

The shooter’s lawyer, Attorney F. Clinton Broden, identified his client as Daniel Perry, a soldier that has been with the military for eight years and has a tour in Afghanistan under his belt, in a statement to the media on Friday.

Broden said that Perry was working for a rideshare company on the night when the incident took place last Saturday, and was scouting for new clients when he veered into the corner of Fourth Street And Congress Avenue, where a BLM rally was taking place.

Perry said he was unaware of the protest and first thought a man, later identified as Foster,  brandishing an assault rifle in the street  was with law enforcement. So he slid open his window as Foster instructed him to do.

Only then he realised that it was no officer. Citing Perry’s account of the event, Broden said that it was only when “this individual with the assault rifle began to raise the assault rifle” towards him, he discharged his handgun “to protect his own life.”

Broden dismissed the notion that Perry fled the scene in a bid to escape responsibility, arguing that he dashed away to save his own life since “a member of the crowd began firing on Sgt. Perry’s vehicle” after the showdown.

As soon as Perry reached safety, the lawyer said, he “immediately called the police.”

The exact circumstances of the incident, which set off an intense blame game online, are murky. A still shot from a video has since emerged purporting to show the victim with his gun drawn and pointed at the vehicle, seemingly confirming Perry’s account.

Some, however, claimed that it appeared as Perry was intent on moving down the crowd, which caused Foster to confront him in the first place.

Browden, meanwhile, argued that Perry bore no ill will and was “devastated” by the incident, extending his condolences to the slain protester’s family. 

In its latest on the incident on Friday, the Austin Police Department, which has not itself identified the suspect, said investigators are still combing the evidence, asking the public to provide additional footage that may help to shed light on what had transpired that day.

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