Former SAPD officer who shot teen in McDonald’s parking lot released from jail, records show

‘Failure for one individual police officer’: James Brennand, 27, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant

SAN ANTONIO – A former San Antonio police officer who shot 17-year-old Erik Cantu in the parking lot of a San Antonio McDonald’s on Oct. 2 bonded out of jail after turning himself in on Tuesday evening, according to jail records and Police Chief William McManus.

James Brennand, 27, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony, records show.

Bexar County Jail records show he was released from jail on Wednesday morning. His bond had been set at $200,000. A hearing is set for Nov. 23.

“The shooting itself was unjustified -- administratively and criminally,” McManus told the news media in a briefing Tuesday night.

The police chief said he met with members of the Homicide Unit several times since the teen was shot to determine if charges would be filed against Brennand. He said they worked for several days to draft an arrest warrant for a judge to sign.

McManus said the two charges are in connection with the shooting of the teen and because there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time.

“We were confident we had what we need to make those cases,” McManus said.

The affidavit states that police did “not believe the use of deadly force was reasonable given the totality of the circumstances.” Brennand was also “not in clear danger of death or serious bodily injury,” the affidavit states.

The chief said the case remains open, and investigators still need to complete more steps before they can wrap it up.

“Our goal right now was to get him in custody, and that has been accomplished,” McManus said.

When asked about what Cantu’s family and the department discussed, the chief declined to go into detail.

He said charges may be upgraded if the teen doesn’t survive.

“If he does not make it, the charges will change,” McManus said.

The day after the shooting, the SAPD command and training staff met and discussed policies and training within the department.

McManus said they were confident in their policies and training after their meeting.

“This was a failure for one individual police officer ... Here we are as a result of that fail,” McManus said.

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About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.