Erik Cantu’s father says teen has made some progress after being shot by San Antonio police officer

Cantu has been on life support at University Hospital

Erik Cantu's family lawyer shares update on teen’s condition in hospital. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The teenager shot by a San Antonio police officer on Oct. 2 is making some progress.

“The last two days, after 14 scary unsettling days, Erik has made some progress. He has a long way to go but we will take any and every little bit we can get,” Cantu’s father wrote in a post shared on a crowdfunding website Tuesday by Cantu’s uncle.

Brian Powers, the former lawyer for the family, told KSAT via email on Oct. 13 that Cantu was still on life support and fighting a high fever while attached to mechanical ventilation.

“The bullets brutally tore through his stomach, liver, diaphragm, lungs and arms. Bullets from the two rounds grazed him deeply on other places of his body,” Powers said. “His body has suffered so much from the damage and invasive surgeries to keep him alive.”

The family has since retained renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who will be representing Cantu alongside co-counsel Paul Grinke.

Powers was initially retained as Cantu’s defense counsel after the teen was charged by proxy with evading detention in a vehicle and assault on an officer following the incident.

The charges were dropped by Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Oct. 7 so his parents could visit him in the hospital.

“I’ve instructed my office to dismiss the cases against this young man... 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.

Cantu’s father also said in his update that a recent prayer vigil for Erik is “paying off.”

“These type of events will change a man and I feel it. They do that in many ways as making one stronger in faith, determination, and will to make the world a better place. I know with the support Erik and I have, we will do all we can to make that change,” he said.

Cantu was shot in a McDonald’s parking lot by now-former officer, James Brennand, who opened the door to the car the teenager was driving and ordered Cantu to “get out of the car.”

Brennand attempted to physically remove Cantu from the vehicle and then the teen put the car in reverse with the door still open.

Brennand started to fire shots into the vehicle while Cantu and a 17-year-old female passenger were still inside.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called the body-worn camera footage released by the San Antonio Police Department following the incident “horrific.”

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

Brennand has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony. He turned himself in to Bexar County jail on Oct. 11 and was released the following day on a $200,000 bond. A hearing has been set for Nov. 23.

Previous reports have stated that Brennand said he suspected the car Cantu was driving was stolen. San Antonio police have since confirmed that Cantu was not driving a stolen vehicle.

You can watch the video released by SAPD of the shooting below. WARNING: Video is graphic and viewer discretion is advised

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