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Garrett Foster brought a gun to an Austin protest—and was killed

Garrett Foster, 28, was shot and killed during a protest against police violence on Saturday.

Garrett Foster, 28, was shot and killed by someone in a car on Saturday while attending a protest in downtown Austin. Earlier in the evening, he was interviewed on a livestream while wearing an AK-47 across his chest.

Here is what else we know about the incident so far.


What do we know about Garrett Foster?

Foster had attended the ongoing protests regularly with his fiancée Whitney Mitchell, a quadruple-amputee, with whom he purchased a home in Austin two years ago, his mother, Sheila, told Good Morning America.

Mitchell's mother, Patricia Kirven, organized a GoFundMe to pay for Foster's funeral and burial costs. It raised more than $107,000.

"He fought against injustice, served in the military and was fiercely protective of his fiancée," Kirven wrote on the fundraising page. "They fell in love at 17 and were never apart."

Foster left the military to take care of Mitchell when she became sick with an unknown illness, which led to her amputations, Kirven told the Dallas Morning News. Foster had served as her full-time caretaker for nearly a decade.

Was he armed?

Foster was carrying an AK-47 at the protest.

Earlier in the evening, he spoke about the weapon to an independent journalist named Hiram Gilberto Garcia, who has been broadcasting live footage from the Austin protests. "They don't let us march in the streets anymore, so I got to practice some of our rights," Foster said in the interview, which was streamed on Periscope.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday tweeted a link to Garcia's video interview with Foster on Sunday. "This is the guy that lost his life last night," he wrote. "He was looking for confrontation and he found it."

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a press conference on Sunday that the driver who shot and killed Foster told dispatchers that Foster approached his window and pointed a rifle at him.

But some witnesses dispute this account. James Sasinowski told CNN that the driver aggressively drove into the crowd of protestors and incited the violence..

What is the status of the investigation?

APD is actively investigating Foster's death, Manley said on Sunday, including reviewing available video, photos and witness statements. The Travis County Medical Examiner's office will conduct an autopsy.

Texas has a fairly broad stand-your-ground law, which doesn't require individuals to retreat when defending their home or other property.

Who organized the protest?

The Mike Ramos Brigade has organized regular protests against police violence and white supremacy in Austin.

In recent tweets, the brigade has referred to Foster as a "comrade" and "one of our own."

The group's members have not identified themselves, but APD confirmed last month that there is crossover between the brigade and another controversial local group called Defend Our Hoodz, which organized a rent strike and May Day protests earlier this year.

Mike Ramos was shot and killed by Austin police in April. His mother, Brenda, has said her family is not associated with the Mike Ramos Brigade.

What are local officials saying about Foster?

Austin Mayor Steve Adler tweeted on Sunday, "This is horrible as is all gun violence. There are too many guns."

Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison criticized the police response to Foster's death, including a Sunday press conference in which Manley spoke about rising violent crime in Austin and staffing shortages.

Council is in the middle of budget deliberations about whether to cut APD funding and staffing. Last week, hundreds of residents called into a meeting to urge council to cut more than the $11 million currently proposed.

"Whether we halve APD's budget or double it, nothing will bring back Garrett Foster," she wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, "and using a press conference about his death as a platform for political purposes is beneath contempt."

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🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway