Ex-San Antonio police officer who shot teen arrested, charged

Oct. 12 (UPI) — A former San Antonio police officer has been arrested and charged on accusations of shooting a 17-year-old boy who was eating in his car that was parked in a McDonald’s parking lot.

San Antonio police chief William McManus told reporters during a press conference that the former officer, identified as James Brennand, had turned himself in to police Tuesday night.

He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public official.

McManus explained Brennand has been charged with one count for each of the occupants of the car.

“He is in custody,” McManus said. “We worked on this for several days to get to this point where we could submit a warrant to a judge for signature and that’s where we are right now.”

Brennand is accused of shooting Erik Cantu the night of Oct. 2. Cantu, who was in critical condition Tuesday night, was sitting his his car with another unidentified person when the shooting occurred.

Police said Brennand, who had been on the force less than a year, was called to the McDonald’s parking lot for an unrelated disturbance when he noticed a vehicle that had allegedly evaded him a day prior.

Body camera footage of the incident shows Brennand walking toward the vehicle before abruptly opening its door and demanding Cantu to “get out of the car.”

With the door still open, Cantu is seen putting the car into reverse and as he attempts to drive away, Brennand fires multiple shots at the vehicle, striking the teenager.

Brennand was fired on Friday.

Asked if the shooting was the result of the department’s training or policies, McManus said “our polices and our training when it came to this type of incident are sound.”

“This was a failure for one individual police officer. It had nothing to do with our policies,” he said. “Policies did not allow that, our training did not teach that. So this is a fail for one particular police officer. And here we are as a result of that fail.”

Cantu is on life support, his family said in a statement.

“Surgeries were performed to repair injuries to a few major organs as a result of the penetration of multiple bullets,” the family said. “We ask that everyone please keep Erik in your thoughts and prayers.”

McManus told reporters that if Cantu does not survive, Brennand will be charged with murder.

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