San Antonio officer indicted for allegedly shooting unarmed teen eating hamburger in his car
12/02/2022 12:25 pm PST
SAN ANTONIO (TCD) -- A grand jury returned a multi-count indictment against a former San Antonio Police Department officer who allegedly shot an unarmed teen eating a hamburger in his car in October.
On Thursday, Dec. 1, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced James Brennand has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public service and one count of attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Erik Cantu. Gonzales said the case will be controlled by the department’s civil rights division.
At the press conference, Gonzales said, "We are going to do everything possible to see that justice is done for Erik and his family."
A news release outlined the charges against Brennand, saying he is charged with a second count of aggravated assault because a passenger was in the car with Cantu when Brennand opened fire.
The San Antonio Police Department released bodycam footage from the Oct. 2 shooting, along with a synopsis of what reportedly occurred.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Brennand went to the 11700 block of Bertrand Road regarding a disturbance at a McDonald’s. While speaking with witnesses at McDonald’s, Brennand reportedly "noticed a vehicle that had evaded him the day before" at a traffic stop.
Brennand allegedly had suspicions that the car was stolen, so he called for backup.
Brennand went to the car, and Cantu was in the driver’s seat eating a hamburger. Brennand reportedly ordered hm to get out, and Cantu put the car in reverse and drove away. Brennand shot at the car and ran after it. Cantu’s vehicle was reportedly found a block away, but neither he nor his passenger was inside it.
Cantu was hospitalized and placed on life support after having surgery, according to KSAT-TV. He reportedly suffered injuries to his stomach, liver, diaphragm, lungs, and arm. KSAT reports Cantu gradually improved enough to be taken off life support in November.
Records cited by KSAT say the night before Cantu was shot, Brennand tried pulling Cantu's car over, but he allegedly accelerated onto a highway and sped off.
He was released from the hospital two days before Thanksgiving.
Regarding the charges, Gonzales said in his statement, "It is my hope that by vigorously investigating and prosecuting this case, we can help to increase faith in this system, even if we can never repair and stem all the pain and suffering experienced by the Cantu family."
- Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales discusses Grand Jury indictment of former SAPD officer - Bexar County District Attorney's Office
- Grand Jury indicts former San Antonio police officer for Oct. 2 shooting of unarmed teenager - Bexar County District Attorney's Office
- San Antonio officer arrested for allegedly shooting teen eating hamburger in his car who is now on life support, 10/13/2022 - TCD
- Critical Incident Video Release 11700 Blanco, 10/5/2022 - San Antonio Police Department
- Erik Cantu no longer on life support, doing well after surgery, family says, 11/4/2022 - KSAT
- Erik Cantu Jr. back home more than 7 weeks after being shot by SAPD officer, family says - KSAT
- Night before shooting at McDonalds, Erik Cantu evaded same SAPD officer who shot him: records, 10/31/2022 - KSAT
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