San Antonio, Texas – In a shocking incident, a police officer in San Antonio, Texas has been terminated from his position after firing gunshots at an unarmed teenager while he was enjoying a burger at a McDonald’s parking area. The 17-year-old victim, Erik Cantu, remains in stable condition at a local hospital as of Friday.
Officer James Brennand was dispatched to respond to a disturbance report at the McDonald’s on October 2, according to authorities. However, his attention was quickly diverted by a parked vehicle with teenager Erik Cantu inside, which he claimed had attempted to evade him during a previous traffic stop.
Approaching the vehicle, Brennand opened the driver’s door and commanded Cantu to exit, as seen in the body-cam footage. Astoundingly, Cantu held a hamburger in his hands throughout the encounter.
As Cantu placed the car in reverse, Officer Brennand stepped back and indiscriminately fired multiple shots into the vehicle. When Cantu shifted into drive and attempted to flee the McDonald’s premises, Brennand continued to discharge bullets at the car.
Tragically, several bullets struck Cantu, who was found injured approximately one block away, according to the police. Thankfully, a 17-year-old female passenger in the front seat escaped physical harm.
In a statement to WOAI-TV, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus expressed his dismay, stating, “There is nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night. I think what happened, initially, there was some contact made, but that did not justify the shooting.”
Initially, Erik Cantu faced charges of resisting arrest and injuring a law enforcement officer. However, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales revealed that the facts and evidence presented prompted the rejection of these charges for further investigation.
Officer Brennand, a probationary police officer serving the department for only 7 months, was swiftly terminated following the incident. The investigation into the shooting remains ongoing, as authorities seek to uncover the truth behind this senseless act of violence.