Teen shot in McDonald’s parking lot was not driving stolen car, police say

Erik Cantu was shot multiple times on Oct. 2 by former SAPD probationary officer

Erik Cantu looks toward San Antonio Police officer James Brennand while holding a hamburger in a fast food restaurant parking lot as the officer opens the car door. (San Antonio Police Department via AP) (Uncredited)

SAN ANTONIOUpdate Oct. 13, 2 p.m.: SAPD confirmed the license plates did not belong to the vehicle Cantu was operating but reiterated that the vehicle was not stolen. “Due to the ongoing investigation, this is all we can provide,” police said.

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Original report: The teenager who was shot by a San Antonio Police Officer in a McDonald’s parking lot was not driving a stolen vehicle, police confirmed to KSAT Thursday.

Erik Cantu, 17, was shot multiple times on Oct. 2 by former SAPD officer James Brennand.

“I got a vehicle here that fled from me the other day,” Brennand stated in the body-worn camera footage.

Brennand said he suspected the car Cantu was driving was stolen, but San Antonio police now confirm that wasn’t the case.

“We can confirm that the vehicle was not a stolen vehicle,” a spokesperson with SAPD told KSAT via email.

The camera footage released by SAPD following the incident shows Brennand approaching the red sedan, while Cantu and a female passenger were eating inside.

The footage shows Brennand opening the door of the vehicle without warning as Cantu looks up from his meal.

Brennand can be heard saying, “get out of the car” and the teenager asks, “why” and puts the vehicle in reverse.

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 door of the car appears to make contact with Brennand who then fires multiple rounds into the vehicle with Cantu and the female passenger still inside.

“There is no question in anybody’s mind looking at that video that the shooting is not justified,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said earlier this week.

The Cantu family has since hired attorney Brian Powers who sent KSAT the following statement from the family Thursday morning:

“Sadly, Erik is still on life support for his lungs. He is currently fighting a high fever and remains attached to mechanical ventilation. We are grateful for your support, love, and prayers. Erik feels your presence. Please continue to believe and hope that our boy opens his eyes soon.”

Brennand, 27, was fired three days after the shooting.

Nine days after the shooting, Brennand was charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony. His bond was set at $200,000 and a hearing was set for Nov. 23.

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