VIDEO: Erik Cantu’s family speaks publicly for first time since teen was shot by SAPD officer

Teenager still on life support at University Hospital, family says

SAN ANTONIO – The family of a teenager who was shot by a San Antonio police officer in early October is expected to speak to the public on Tuesday for the first time since the shooting.

A week after the family retained high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them, the nationally-known attorney is in San Antonio for an 11 a.m. press conference at the Bexar County Courthouse.

“On October 2, Cantu was eating in his vehicle in a McDonald’s parking lot, with a passenger beside him. Cantu, who was unarmed, was approached by San Antonio Police Officer James Brennand,” a statement from Crump reads in part. “Brennand, who was there on an unrelated case, opened the car door a few seconds later and fired five shots into Cantu’s vehicle, then five more after the car started to drive away.”

Cantu sustained injuries to his stomach, liver, diaphragm, lungs and arms, in addition to other places, according to the family’s former attorney Brian Powers. Cantu’s family initially retained Powers to represent their son after the 17-year-old was charged by proxy with evading detention in a vehicle and assault on an officer. Those charges were dropped just days after the shooting.

“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,” Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said.

Brennand, however, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony. He turned himself in at the Bexar County Jail and was released a day later on a $200,00 bond. A hearing is set for Nov. 23.

SAPD released body-worn camera footage of the shooting three days following the incident.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus has called the video “horrific” saying “there is no question in anybody’s mind looking at that video that the shooting is not justified.”

The 17-year-old female passenger in the car with Cantu at the time was not injured in the shooting.

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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