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SAPD fires officer that shot teen in McDonald's parking lot

Officer James Brennand was fired after bodycam video showed him shooting and wounding 17-year-old Erik Cantu in a McDonald's parking lot.

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio police officer who shot a teenager that 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, on Oct. 2 in a fast food restaurant parking lot, police training commander Alyssa Campos said in a video statement released Wednesday.

Brennand had responded to an unrelated disturbance at the fast-food restaurant when he saw the Cantu inside the car, which had evaded him a day earlier, Campos said.

Video shows the officer opening the driver's side door and ordering the teen out of the car. The car backed up, and within seconds the officer fired five shots into the car at point-blank range.

As the car drove away, the officer fired five more rounds. The teen was hit multiple times. There also was a passenger in the car with him.

"There's nothing that I can say that could defend what he did, his actions that night," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

McManus said officers didn't find any guns on Cantu or in the car he was driving. He added that neither Cantu nor the car he was driving had anything to do with the disturbance call Brennand was responding to on Sunday night.

Cantu was charged with evading detention in a vehicle and assault on a peace officer. The District Attorney's office has since dropped those charges. Cantu is still recovering in the hospital after being hit four times.

“While Sunday’s shooting of an unarmed teenager by a then-San Antonio Police officer remains under investigation, the facts and evidence we have received so far led us to reject the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation," Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said.

The department said Brennand had served on the force for seven months before this shooting. Officers are on probation for one year after graduating from the Police Academy, according to an SAPD news release.

Gonzales, the district attorney, said no decision had been made on whether to pursue charges against Brennand, pending the outcome of a police investigation into the shooting.

“As we do with all officer-involved shootings that result in death or serious injury, we will submit the case to a Grand Jury for their consideration. Until that happens, we can make no further comment on this matter,” Gonzales said.

Police and an attorney for Cantu did not immediately return phone calls for comment on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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