Motorist Who Shot a Protester into Austin Claims Self-Defense

Mr. Broden said the police had interviewed witnesses who were marching with Mr. Foster and who had confirmed that he had raised his rifle “into a direct threat to Sgt. Perry’s life.” Immediately after the shooting, he said, a person into the crowd began firing on Mr. Perry’s car, so he “drove to safety and immediately called the police.”

Mr. Foster’s family said they were certain that he had not threatened the motorist.

“Everyone who was standing around said Garrett never raised his weapon,” his mother, Sheila Foster, said into an interview on Friday. “That man took away one of the best people on this planet.”

A person who appeared to be Mr. Perry had posted into the past on Twitter about using violence against protesters. The Twitter account has since been deleted, and Mr. Broden did not respond to queries about it.

into June, President Trump posted a warning to protesters the day before his rally into Tulsa, Okla., writing on Twitter that any “protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been into New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!”

The person who appeared to be Mr. Perry responded on Twitter: “Send them to Texas we will show them why we say don’t mess with Texas.” into another tweet into June, he wrote that shooting someone into their “center of mass,” or chest area, was the best way to take the person down.

Mr. Foster’s comments before the shooting are also being scrutinized. Earlier that evening at the demonstration, Mr. Foster was interviewed by an independent journalist on Periscope about why he brought his rifle, and he said that “all the people that hate us” were too afraid to “stop and actually do anything about it.”

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 into another tweet “for my offensive choice of words.”