According to multiple witnesses, the incident began when the driver honked at protesters, then sped down Congress Avenue and drove through the crowd, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The driver then appeared to hit an orange barrier and come to a stop.
Multiple armed protesters approached the car, at which point the driver fired several shots before speeding away, witnesses said. They added that several of the protesters returned fire as the driver made his escape, with police confirming at least three people opened fire. Garrett Foster, 28, was shot and killed.
The unnamed driver said he shot at Foster because the protester had pointed his rifle toward him.
Police spokesperson Katrina Ratliff confirmed that the driver had been detained and was cooperating with police. While Ratliff did not name Foster initially, his identity was confirmed by Foster’s mother during an interview with ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
In video that was streamed live on Facebook, a car could be heard honking before several shots rang out and people at the scene started screaming and scattering. Police then could be seen tending to somebody in the street.
Sheila Foster said her son, who was White, had been a regular at the protests with his fiancée, who is Black. “They’ve been participating in these protests almost every day for the past 50 days,” Sheila Foster said.
“They’ve experienced so much hate just for their relationship in general,” Garrett Foster’s sister, Anna Mayo, told the Statesman. “From day one, he’s fought to end that.”
About 50 protesters returned to Austin Police Department headquarters Sunday morning, the Statesman reported. Protesters surrounded a woman believed to be Foster’s fiancée to give their condolences while chanting Garrett Foster’s name.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.