A former San Antonio, Texas, police officer was charged Tuesday with two counts of aggravated assault by a peace officer in last week’s shooting of a teen who was eating a hamburger in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot.

James Brennand, 25, who was fired after the shooting, was charged in the Oct. 2 shooting of Erik Cantu, 17, according to a police statement. 

Cantu’s family said in a statement Tuesday that there was no improvement in his condition. “He is still unconscious and is on life support,” the statement said. “The last two days have been difficult, and we expect more difficulty ahead, but we remain hopeful.”

Brian Powers, the family’s lawyer, said it is “an incredibly difficult time for them.”

Brennand, a rookie officer, reported that the vehicle in which Cantu sat had evaded him the night before during an attempted traffic stop. Brennand said he suspected the vehicle had been stolen.

In body camera footage released by police, Brennand opens the car door and tells Cantu to get out. The car drives backward, door open, and the officer fires multiple times into the vehicle. He continues to shoot as the car drives away.

Former San Antonio police officer James Brennand fires his pistol at a car with Cantu inside in this Oct. 2 body camera video. (San Antonio Police Department/The Associated Press)

Charges against teen dropped

Investigators quickly determined that the use of deadly force was unwarranted, Brennand was swiftly fired, and charges against Cantu of aggravated assault and evading arrest were dropped.

In an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning, San Antonio police chief William McManus said he expected Brennand to be charged with aggravated assault for the shooting, or murder should Cantu die.

McManus did not explain the reason for his expectations but said Brennand’s body camera video of the Oct. 2 shooting was “horrific.”

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

San Antonio police chief William McManus speaks to the media on June 27. McManus told CNN the body camera video of the Oct. 2 shooting was ‘horrific.’ (Kaylee Greenlee Beal/Reuters)

Police officials and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press. Brennand, who has no published telephone number, could not be reached for comment.

According to his family’s statement, Cantu’s condition is in stark contrast to that provided earlier by police officials. In the wake of the shooting, police said Cantu was hospitalized and in stable condition.

“We’d like to correct any misrepresentations that Erik is in ‘stable condition’ or he is ‘going to be fine.’ That is not true. Every breath is a struggle for Erik. We ask for everyone’s continued prayers for our son,” read the family’s statement.



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