AUSTIN, Texas - Ken Casaday, the President of the Austin Police Association, has issued a public apology on Twitter to the family of Garrett Foster. Foster was the 28-year-old man killed during a protest in downtown Austin on Saturday, July 25.
"These past several weeks have been very trying and contentious for our Austin community and the country," Casaday said on Twitter. "After the tragic death of Garrett Foster a few days ago, I made a Twitter post that was insensitive to Garrett's fiancee, his family, and to Garrett as well."
"I apologize for my offensive choice of words," Casaday continued in a separate tweet. "I have responded to dozens of shootings in my law enforcement career and they are all tragic. I ask that Garrett's family and friends accept my apology."
In an earlier tweet, Casaday blamed Foster for the confrontation in which he was shot dead, saying the demonstrator was “looking for a confrontation and found it.”
WHO IS GARRETT FOSTER?
28-year-old Garrett Foster was attending a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Austin on Saturday, July 25 when he was shot and killed. Two shooters involved in the incident had been detained by APD but have since been released.
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According to the Austin Police Department, officers reported hearing two separate volleys of gunfire on Congress Avenue just before 10 p.m. during a Black Lives Matter protest march on July 25. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Foster with multiple gunshot wounds and began resuscitation efforts until fire crews arrived and took over.
ATCEMS transported Foster to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas where he succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead a short time later.
APD says officers spoke with multiple witnesses at the scene that described several different versions of the shooting. Witnesses say a vehicle started honking its horn as it turned south onto Congress from 4th Street. The vehicle stopped as there was a large number of people in the road.
Foster, who had been holding an AK-47 type assault rifle, approached the driver's side window as others began striking the vehicle.
APD says gunshots than were fired from inside the vehicle at him.
Following that, another person who heard the gunfire and saw the vehicle driving away drew their concealed handgun and fired multiple shots at the vehicle as it drove away. They were brought in to be interviewed and Foster's rifle and the person's handgun were secured as evidence.
Among the callers to Austin 911 was a subject who stated they had just been involved in the shooting and driven away from the scene. The caller stated they had shot someone who had approached their driver’s window and pointed a rifle at them, according to police.
The caller was instructed to pull over and wait for officers to be dispatched. Officers located and brought the caller to the homicide office to be interviewed.
The handgun and vehicle were secured as evidence.
Detectives are reviewing available video, photos and witness statements to determine the precise actions of those involved, and APD says both individuals have been released pending further investigation.
Detectives are asking anyone with video/photos of the incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS (8477), to email, to call the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-TIPS (8477) or use the Crime Stoppers App or APD’s mobile app.