World

Ex-Texas cop counts over shooting teen eating hamburger


SAN ANTONIO –

A San Antonio cop was charged Tuesday with two more serious counts of assault by a peace officer for shooting and fatally wounding a teenager who was eating a hamburger in his car in the parking lot. McDonald’s car.

James Brennand, 25, is charged in the October 2 shooting of 17-year-old Erik Cantu, according to a police statement. Sheriff William McManus said he turned himself in to police Tuesday night and remains in custody.

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

Brennand, a rookie officer, reported that the car Cantu was in evaded him the night before during an attempt to stop the vehicle. Brennand said he suspects the car has been stolen.

In full-body camera footage released by police, Brennand opens the car door and tells Cantu to get out. The car reverses, the door is open, the officer shoots many times at the car. He continued to shoot as the car drove away.

Investigators quickly determined that the use of deadly force was unwarranted, and Brennand was fired. Charges against Cantu of aggravation and evasion of arrest have been dropped.

Brennand was charged with two counts of assault for having a passenger in the vehicle. Passengers were unharmed.

At a news conference Tuesday night, the sheriff defended the department’s training and said the failures were individual officer’s.

During an appearance on CNN earlier on Tuesday, McManus said he expected aggravated assault charges to be filed, and murder in the event of Cantu’s death.

McManus said the October 2 footage of Brennand’s camera was “appalling”.

“There is no doubt in the minds of anyone who watched that video that the shooting was not justified,” McManus said.

Police officials and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately return messages from the Associated Press. Brennand does not have a published phone number and cannot be reached for comment.

Cantu’s condition, as involved in his family’s statement, is the exact opposite of what police officials said after the shooting: that Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition.

“We want to correct any misinformation that Erik is in a stable condition or that he will be fine.” That’s not right. Every breath is a struggle for Erik. We ask everyone to continue to pray for our son,” the family said.

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