advocacy and activism

Garrett Foster biography: 13 things about Black Lives Matter protester shot in Austin, Texas

Whitney Mitchell, Garrett Foster

Whitney Mitchell, Garrett Foster

Garrett S. Foster was a United States Air Force flight mechanic from Austin, Texas, United States. He spent his final day attending a Black Lives Matter protest in his hometown with his fiancee Whitney Mitchell.

Foster is white while Mitchell is black and a quadruple amputee. Here are 13 more facts about him:

  1. He was born in 1992.
  2. He is the son of Stephen Paul Foster and Sheila Joyce Foster.
  3. He grew up in Plano, Texas and previously lived in Dallas, Texas.
  4. His sister Anna Mayo told the Austin American-Statesman that he and Mitchell “have experienced so much hate just for their relationship in general” and “from day one, he’s fought to end that.”
  5. He and Mitchell had been in a relationship since they were 17 years old. Since 2018, they had been living in Austin.
  6. In his late teens, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He had to leave for basic training two months after Mitchell had all four of her limbs amputated after she developed a medical condition that led to sepsis.
  7. As a flight mechanic, he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 2011 to be the full-time caretaker of Mitchell.
  8. He wore a black bandanna and a baseball cap when he and Mitchell attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin on July 25, 2020. He openly carried an AK-47 rifle, which is legal to do in Texas.
  9. He was interviewed by journalist Hiram Gilberto Garcia, who broadcast the protest live on Periscope. Talking about his rifle, he told the journalist, “They don’t let us march in the streets anymore so I got to practice some of our rights. If I use it against the cops, I’m dead.”
  10. Minutes before 10:00 p.m. on July 25, 2020, the protesters were marching through the intersection of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue when a car turned aggressively through the intersection and abruptly stopped. He approached the car and he was fatally shot by thee unidentified man in it, the New York Times quoted the police and witnesses as saying.
  11. He and Mitchell had been attending Black Lives Matter protests in Austin since the fatal arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA on May 25, 2020. His aunt Karen Sourber told CBS Austin that he is “a champion of justice” who wanted “to make sure that all people are treated fairly and equally.”
  12. First responders performed CPR on him at the scene.
  13. He was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center in Austin where he was pronounced dead less than an hour after the shooting.

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