A former San Antonio police officer who shot a teenager who was eating a hamburger in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot has been arrested and charged with two counts of grievous assault.
James Brennand, 25, was charged Tuesday for the Oct. 2 shooting of Eric Cantu, according to a police statement.
A lawyer for the family said the 17-year-old was shot multiple times and remains in a coma and on life support.
Brennand, who had served in the force for seven months while still on probation, was fired two days after the incident.
Police Chief William McManus said Brennand faces two counts of aggravated assault because two people were in the car when the shooting was fired. A 17-year-old girl in the passenger seat was not injured.
When Brennand found Mr Cantu’s car, he was responding to reports of unrelated disturbances at the fast food restaurant.
He reported that the vehicle in which Mr Cantu was in had avoided him when he was trying to get stuck in traffic the night before. Brennand said he suspected the car had been stolen.
Body camera footage released by police shows Brennand opening the door and telling the teenager to get out of the car.
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The boy backed up with the door open and officers fired several shots at the vehicle – and continued to fire at the car as it was driven away.
Investigators quickly determined that the use of lethal force was unwarranted, and Brennand was fired. Charges of aggravated assault and evasion of arrest against Mr Cantu were dropped.
Mr McManus said Brennand’s actions were “unreasonable”.
The police chief defended the department’s training and said the failure was the failure of individual officers.
He added that if Mr Cantu’s circumstances changed – so would the charges against Brennand.