Attorneys update judge about case involving former SAPD officer who shot teen outside McDonald’s

James Brennand facing multiple charges in connection with shooting

SAN ANTONIO – A former San Antonio police officer facing multiple charges stemming from a shooting last year was in court on Friday.

James Brennand is accused of shooting 17-year-old Erik Cantu who was sitting in his vehicle outside a North Side McDonald’s.

Cantu spent weeks on life support after suffering injuries to his stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, bicep and forearm.

"After six long weeks, powered by the grace of God and the prayers sent by the masses, this week has brought small victories, for which we are so grateful. Seeing Erik’s smile has given us a renewed sense of hope, which we believe will carry our family through this hardship to see Erik through his recovery. We are incredibly proud of this young man who has fought so hard to be here. Erik still has at least one more potential surgery and likely years of rehab, but he’s proving he has the strength to do it. Thank you all for being there for us through this journey with Erik." - Statement from Erik Cantu Jr.'s parents sent to KSAT via attorney Ben Crump on Nov. 15. (GoFundMe)

Brennand, a probationary SAPD officer who had been on the force for about seven months, was fired days after the shooting for violating departmental tactics and procedures.

Body-worn camera footage released by SAPD showed Brennand approaching Cantu’s car after believing it was the same one that evaded him the night before as he attempted to pull the driver over.

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

SAPD officer who shot teen outside McDonald’s restaurant fired following review of incident. WARNING: VIDEO IS DISTURBING

In court Friday, prosecutor Daryl Harris told the 437th District Court judge that he was still getting evidence to the defense including some new evidence he was just given.

“I’ve also been made aware of some incidents involving the defendant in his employment as an officer that could be probative to this matter,” Harris said in court. “That information has been loaded to discovery, but I’m going to give them a paper copy to support their investigation.”

This was only the second court setting for this case and a few more are expected before a trial date would be set.

Next up, a pretrial hearing on motions to suppress evidence will take place but a date has yet to be scheduled for that.

Brennand was indicted last year on two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant and one count of attempted murder.

The first count of aggravated assault is for shooting Cantu and the second count is for shooting at or in the direction of another victim in Cantu’s vehicle, District Attorney Joe Gonzales said during a press conference in December.

The charge is a first-degree felony with a punishment between five years and life in prison.

The attempted murder charge is a second-degree felony with a punishment between two years and 20 years in prison.


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.