A man in Austin, TX, who regularly marched in Black Lives Matter demonstrations throughout the city was shot and killed while caring for his fiancée during a protest on Saturday. Garrett Foster, 28, was fatally shot three times by an unidentified shooter in a vehicle that tried turning onto a crowded street filled with protesters on Saturday night. Foster, who regularly carried an AK-47-type rifle with him while attending protests, approached the vehicle prior to being shot, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley and multiple witnesses.
Foster had been pushing his fiancée Whitney Mitchell’s wheelchair across the street before the car approached the crowded scene. Mitchell is a quadruple amputee and Foster has been her caregiver ever since she went into septic shock at age 19 and lost her limbs.
The shooter quickly left the scene after Foster was gunned down, Manley confirmed in a briefing on the homicide published to YouTube on Sunday. Another protester began shooting at the vehicle as it drove away, before first responders arrived to begin performing CPR on Foster. He was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center and was pronounced dead just over half an hour later.
Foster’s mother, Sheila Foster, recounted how dedicated her son and his fiancée had been to attending Black Lives Matter protests to Good Morning America. "They've been participating in these protests almost every day for the past 50 days," she said. She said Garrett regularly carried his gun with him "because he feels really strongly about justice and he’s very heavily against police brutality, and he wanted to support his fiancée."
Foster and Mitchell began dating when they were 17, according to a GoFundMe for the family set up on behalf of Sheila Foster. Foster went on to become a flight mechanic in the Air Force, and was later discharged to act as Mitchell’s caregiver. The couple were well-known faces at many of Austin’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations, with Foster always pushing Mitchell’s wheelchair as they marched with their fellow protesters.
A suspect is confirmed to be in custody and is said to be cooperating with the Austin Police Department.