San Antonio cop fired after shooting teen eating hamburger in McDonald’s parking lot

A San Antonio police officer who was still on probation was fired after shooting and injuring a 17-year-old boy in a McDonald’s parking lot, the department said Wednesday.

The teenager, Erik Cantu, is in hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. His condition was unknown Friday morning.

The officer, identified as James Brennand, responded to the fast food restaurant on Blanco Road around 10:45 p.m. Sunday for an unrelated jamming call, according to police.

“While the officer was trying to collect information from witnesses, he noticed a vehicle that had evaded him the day before when the officer tried to stop because the registered license plate did not match the actual vehicle,” Captain Alyssa Campos, the department’s training commander , said in a video statement.

The car, driven by Cantu, was not the subject of the fault call at McDonald’s, according to Campos.

The officer, who believed the car had been stolen, called for “cover” but approached the vehicle before other officers arrived, she said. Campos said the officer “abruptly” opened the driver’s door and ordered Cantu to get out.

Police CCTV footage released by the department shows Cantu eating a McDonald’s hamburger in the driver’s seat. There is a 17-year-old girl in the passenger seat.

“Get out of the car,” the officer tells Cantu, the video shows.

Cantu put the car into reverse with the driver’s door still open and backed up, Campos said, adding that the officer was hit by the open door.

“The officer then stepped back and opened fire on the vehicle as the driver backed up,” she said.

Multiple gunshots can be heard in the video as the maroon car backs up and the driver’s door closes. More shots are fired as the car flees the parking lot, the video shows.

Cantu and his passenger were found about a block away. The passenger was not injured.

Police accused Cantu of evading detention with a vehicle and assaulting a peace officer. It is not clear whether he has been given a lawyer to speak on his behalf. Police cannot say whether the car was actually stolen.

Brennand had served seven months and was still on probation, a standard practice for San Antonio officers who graduated from police academy less than a year ago.

“The former officer’s actions are indefensible and inconsistent with our training, tactics and procedures,” said Chief William McManus. “As such, I have fired him. I will withhold further comment as this incident is still under investigation.”

All police shootings are sent to the prosecutor’s office for review. Brennand has not been charged with any crime.

Danny Diaz, president of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association, said he will not comment until the investigation is complete.


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