Erik Cantu on life support with ‘no improvement in his condition,’ according to family attorney
Police body camera video from Oct. 2, 2022, released by the San Antonio Police Department shows Erik Cantu looking at police officer James Brennand while holding a hamburger in a fast-food restaurant parking lot as the officer opens the car door. (San Antonio Police Department via AP)
Former police officer James Brennand, who was fired last week after shooting a 17-year-old driver in a McDonald’s parking lot, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant on Tuesday, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus announced.
“It was unjustified, both administratively and criminally,” McManus told reporters Tuesday evening.
The family of Erik Cantu, the 17-year-old who was shot, said Tuesday that the teen is still on life support.
“At this time, there is no improvement in his condition. He is still unconscious and is on life support. The last two days have been difficult and we expect more difficulty ahead, but we remain hopeful,” Cantu’s family told Fox News Digital in a statement through their attorney, Brian Powers.
“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.”
McManus said the charges will change if Cantu succumbs to his injuries.
On the evening of Oct. 2, Brennand was already in the McDonald’s parking for a separate disturbance call when he noticed a vehicle that he believed evaded him the night before.
Video of the incident shows Brennand approach the vehicle, open the car door and order Cantu to get out.
“With the vehicle door still open, the driver put the vehicle in reverse and attempted to leave. The officer was hit by the open door. The officer then stepped back and opened fire on the vehicle as the driver reversed away from him,” Campos said.
Cantu suffered multiple gunshot wounds; a female passenger was uninjured.
Brennand was fired last week because his actions “were in violation of departmental tactics, training and procedures,” police training commander Alyssa Campos said.
McManus said he met with his command staff and training academy staff after the shooting.
“It was a failure for one individual police officer. It had nothing to do with our policies — our policies did not allow that, our training does not teach that,” McManus said Tuesday.
Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Joe Gonzales rejected charges against Cantu last week.
Aggravated assault by a public servant is a first-degree felony that carries a sentence of five to 99 years in prison.
Brennand turned himself in to police Tuesday evening.