Teen shot by SAPD officer outside San Antonio McDonald’s is on life support, family’s lawyer says

Erik Cantu ‘has endured a tremendous amount of trauma’

A friend of Erik Cantu says "it breaks all of our hearts" that he was shot by a police officer who was fired over the incident.

SAN ANTONIO – Erik Cantu is on life support and “literally fighting for his life every minute” after being shot by a San Antonio Police Officer in the parking lot of a McDonald’s on Oct. 2, according to the Cantu family’s lawyer.

Attorney Brian Powers released the following statement on behalf of the family to KSAT on Tuesday:

“Thank you everyone for your prayers and well wishes for Erik. At this time, there is no improvement in his condition. He is still unconscious and is on life support. The last two days have been difficult and we expect more difficulty ahead, but we remain hopeful. We’d like to correct any misrepresentations that Erik is in “stable condition” or he is “going to be fine.” That is not true. Every breath is a struggle for Erik. We ask for everyone’s continued prayers for our son.”

Powers told ABC News on Sunday that Cantu is “fighting for his life every minute of the day as his body has endured a tremendous amount of trauma.”

Cantu was eating food inside a vehicle with a female friend in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant when SAPD probationary police officer James Brennand spotted the vehicle and radioed in to dispatch saying it was the same one that “fled from [him] the other day.”

Brennand, who suspected that the car was stolen and called for cover, approached the vehicle and opened the door. (SAPD has confirmed the vehicle was not stolen.)

Cantu, 17, looks up from his meal and puts the vehicle in reverse as Brennand can be heard saying “get out of the car.”

Brennand then attempts to physically remove Cantu from the vehicle and that’s when the teen reverses out of the parking spot with the door still open.

The open door of the vehicle hits Brennand who then fires shots into the car with Cantu and the female passenger, who is also 17 years old, still inside.

Brennand fires more shots into the back of the vehicle as Cantu puts the car in drive and attempts to leave the area.

The teens ended up one block away from the McDonald’s, located in the 11700 block of Blanco Road near West Avenue, after the shooting.

Brennand caught up with them and performed CPR on Cantu who suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Cantu was taken to University Hospital and the female passenger was uninjured, according to police.

Cantu was initially charged by proxy with evading detention in a vehicle and assault on an officer, however, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales dropped the charges two days after the incident, pending further investigation.

“That’s not to say that charges can’t or won’t be brought against that individual, but for now, that is the decision that we are making,” Gonzales said after reviewing the footage.

SAPD released body-cam video of the incident, which can be viewed below. The video released by SAPD is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

SAPD officer who shot teen outside McDonald’s restaurant fired following review of incident. WARNING: VIDEO IS DISTURBING

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called the video “horrific.”

“There is no question in anybody’s mind looking at that video that the shooting is not justified,” McManus said.

Brennand has been fired from SAPD following the shooting.

An investigation into the shooting could take up to one year, officials said.

“The DA’s Office can make no comment on whether charges may be pursued against either individual until all evidence has been reviewed,” Gonzales said.

McManus said he expects charges to be possibly filed by the end of the week.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.