San Antonio police officer fired after shooting at teenager eating hamburger in McDonald’s parking lot

SAN ANTONIO, Texas– A Texas police officer who shot and wounded a teenager who was sitting in his car eating a hamburger has been fired, police said.

San Antonio officer James Brennand was fired after shooting Erik Cantu, 17, in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on Oct. 2, police training commander Alyssa Campos said in a video statement released Wednesday.

Brennand had been responding to an unrelated disturbance at the fast-food restaurant when he saw the Cantu in the car, which had dodged him a day earlier, Campos said.

A Texas prosecutor said in a statement Friday that he had not seen enough evidence to charge the teenager.

“While the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a then-San Antonio police officer Sunday is still under investigation, the facts and evidence we have received to date have prompted us to dismiss the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation,” the district attorney said of Bexar County, Joe Gonzales.

Brennand, who served less than a year, violated his training and police procedures after approaching the car, Campos said.

“The officer abruptly opened the driver’s door and ordered the driver out of the car,” Campos said before the backup officers Brennand had requested arrived.

Cantu looks at Brennand while holding a hamburger in the officer’s body camera video, then backs the car and hits the officer with the open door.

Brennand then opened fire multiple times as the door closed and Cantu drove away.

Cantu, who was hit by gunfire, stopped nearby, where he and an uninjured passenger were found by police.

“There is nothing I can say in defense of this officer’s actions that night,” Police Commissioner William McManus told WOAI-TV. “I think what happened, initially contact was made, but that didn’t justify the shooting.”

Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition and initially charged with fleeing police and aggravated assault.

Gonzales, the district attorney, said a decision had not been made on whether to file charges against Brennand pending the outcome of a police investigation into the shooting.

“As with any shooting involving officers that results in death or serious injury, we will submit the case to a grand jury for consideration. Until then, we are unable to comment further on this matter,” Gonzales said.

Police and an attorney for Cantu did not immediately respond to calls Friday for comment.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. San Antonio police officer fired after shooting at teenager eating hamburger in McDonald’s parking lot

Russell Falcon

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