Motorist Who Shot a Protester in Austin Claims Self-Defense

One police official who criticized that comment on social media has since apologized. The official, Kenneth Casaday, the president of the Austin police officers’ union, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Foster “was looking for confrontation and he found it,” but he later apologized in another tweet “for my offensive choice of words.”

Austin’s police chief, Brian Manley, said investigators were told that Mr. Foster was shot after he pointed his rifle at Mr. Perry. “During the initial investigation of this incident, it appears that Mr. Foster may have pointed his weapon at the driver of this vehicle prior to being shot,” Chief Manley told reporters on Sunday.

Chief Manley said that a person in the crowd who had also opened fire — the gunfire that Mr. Perry had reported to the police — had done so after hearing the gunshots and seeing the car drive away.

Mr. Perry called 911 after leaving the scene and told dispatchers that he had shot someone who had approached him and pointed a rifle at him. He was instructed to pull over. Both he and the person in the crowd who shot at the vehicle were interviewed by investigators and released. They both had state-issued handgun licenses.

Mr. Broden said Mr. Perry had “fully cooperated with the police following the shooting and he continues to do so.” Mr. Perry, who is stationed at the Fort Hood Army base in Killeen, Texas, and had served in Afghanistan, was driving for Uber as a way to make extra money, his lawyer said.

“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,” Mr. Broden said in the statement.

Mr. Foster’s mother said her son enlisted in the Air Force in the weeks after he graduated from high school in 2010 in the Dallas suburb of Plano, where he grew up. Months later, he and Ms. Mitchell became engaged, when they were both 19. In a matter of weeks, their lives changed — Ms. Mitchell collapsed at her grandmother’s house. Her organs began to fail, as an infection caused septic shock, a life-threatening condition, Ms. Foster said. All four of her limbs were amputated.

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