SAN ANTONIO – The parents of the teenager who was shot by a San Antonio Police Officer in October are celebrating his release from the hospital just before Thanksgiving.
“Our family’s prayers have been answered, and we are incredibly grateful that our son Erik is home with us. Erik still has a long road to recovery ahead of him but, we are overjoyed at his progress in the past two weeks,” Erik Cantu Jr.’s parents said via their attorney Ben Crump.
KSAT reported Tuesday that the teen was released from the hospital and back home recovering.
“It means the world to us that we can spend Thanksgiving as a family outside of the hospital walls, where we have lived since Erik was horribly injured. We are thankful for many blessings this week – Erik’s strength, everyone who has supported us through Erik’s hospitalization, and the grace of God. Thank you,” the teen’s parents said in the statement released Wednesday.
Victoria Casarez and Eric Cantu have both provided updates on Cantu Jr.’s condition following the shooting on Oct. 2.
On Oct. 22 they shared that Cantu Jr. was still on life support for his lungs.
Cantu Jr. was able to be taken off life support after undergoing extensive surgery on Nov. 4.
His father then shared an update to the family’s GoFundMe site on Nov. 11 showing the teen awake and smiling nearly six weeks after being shot by SAPD officer James Brennand.
The teen sustained injuries to his stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, bicep and forearm in the shooting.
In the aftermath of the shooting, SAPD released graphic body camera footage of the incident. Officials with the city of San Antonio have also since attempted to withhold the release of public information related to the case.
According to SAPD records viewed by KSAT Investigates, Cantu Jr. was confirmed to have evaded Brennand the night before. Cantu Jr. was driving the same maroon BMW sedan during both incidents — when he evaded Brennand on Oct. 1 and again when Brennand shot Cantu Jr. after he tried to flee the officer a second time.
Brennand did not announce himself as an officer before opening the door of Cantu Jr.’s vehicle in a McDonald’s parking lot on Oct. 2, body-worn camera footage shows.
Brennand, who suspected that the car was stolen and called for cover, opened the car door and ordered Cantu Jr. to “get out of the car” before attempting to physically remove the teenager from the car.
Cantu Jr. can be seen putting the vehicle in reverse when the open car door allegedly hit Brennand, who then fired shots into the car with Cantu Jr. and a 17-year-old female passenger still inside. He fired more shots into the back of the vehicle as Cantu Jr. put the car in drive and pulled out of the parking lot.
Brennand is currently charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony. He was released from Bexar County Jail on a $200,000 bond. His hearing set for Nov. 23 was rescheduled since the judge in the case will not be holding court this week.
Court officials say a new hearing date could be scheduled as early as next week.