Advertisement

Former Texas cop charged for shooting teen eating hamburger outside McDonald’s

Click to play video: 'Texas police officer fired after shooting at teen in McDonald’s parking lot'
Texas police officer fired after shooting at teen in McDonald’s parking lot
WARNING: Video contains images which may not be suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised. – Oct 12, 2022

A now-former San Antonio police officer was charged Tuesday with two counts of aggravated assault by a peace officer for shooting and gravely wounding a teen who was eating a hamburger in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot.

James Brennand, 25, was charged in the Oct. 2 shooting of Erik Cantu, 17, according to a police statement. He turned himself in to police Tuesday night and remained in custody, said Police Chief William McManus.

Cantu is unconscious and on life support, his family said Tuesday.

“There is no improvement in his condition,” the family said in a statement delivered by their lawyer, Brian Powers. “The last two days have been difficult, and we expect more difficulty ahead, but we remain hopeful.”

Powers said it’s “an incredibly difficult time for them.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Atlanta police officers won’t face charges for Rayshard Brooks shooting: prosecutor

Read next: This gibbon became pregnant while living in isolation. How is that possible?

A rookie officer, Brennand reported that the vehicle in which Cantu was sitting had evaded him the night before during an attempted traffic stop. Brennand said he suspected the vehicle was stolen.

In body camera footage released by police, Brennand opens the car door and tells Cantu to get out. The car drives backward, door open, and the officer fires multiple times into the vehicle. He continues to shoot as the car drives away.

Investigators quickly determined that the use of deadly force was unwarranted, and Brennand was fired. Charges against Cantu of aggravated assault and evading arrest were dropped.

Brennand is charged with two counts of assault because there was a passenger in the car. The passenger was unharmed.

Click to play video: 'Bodycam footage of officers killing a Black man released by Ohio police'
Bodycam footage of officers killing a Black man released by Ohio police

In a press conference Tuesday evening, the police chief defended the department’s training and said the failures were those of the individual officer.

Story continues below advertisement

In an appearance on CNN earlier Tuesday, McManus said he expected aggravated assault charges would be filed, and murder charges in the event Cantu dies.

McManus said Brennand’s body camera video of the Oct. 2 shooting was “horrific.”

“There is no question in anybody’s mind looking at that video that the shooting is not justified,” McManus said.

Read more: Lawyer says Ohio police officers shot fleeing Black man dozens of times

Read next: Tourist booed, punched, hit with stick after climbing sacred Mexican pyramid

Police officials and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press. Brennand has no published telephone number and could not be reached for comment.

Cantu’s condition, as related in his family’s statement, is in stark contrast to what police officials said in the wake of the shooting: that Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition.

“We’d like to correct any misrepresentations that Erik is in `stable condition’ or he is `going to be fine.’ That is not true. Every breath is a struggle for Erik. We ask for everyone’s continued prayers for our son,” the family said.

Sponsored content