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8 Oct, 2022 05:01

Texas officer fired after shooting teen at McDonald’s

The officer shot a 17-year-old suspect several times after abruptly confronting him in the parking lot
Texas officer fired after shooting teen at McDonald’s

A US police officer has been fired after unleashing a hail of bullets on a teenage driver who did not follow an order, with dramatic bodycam footage showing him firing a total of 10 rounds into a vehicle, seriously injuring the teen.

The San Antonio, Texas police department announced the decision on Friday, noting that officer James Brennand – who had only been on the force for seven months and was still on a probationary period – would no longer be employed with the city.

“The former Officer’s actions are indefensible and do not align with our training, tactics and procedures,” Chief William McManus said, adding, “As such, I terminated him. I will withhold further comment as this incident is still under investigation.”

While responding to an unrelated disturbance call at a local McDonald’s last Sunday, Brennand said he spotted a vehicle which had evaded police the day before. Though he called for backup, the officer did not wait to approach the vehicle of the 17-year-old suspect – since identified as Erik Cantu – opening his car door and ordering him to get out.

However, as seen in body camera footage released by the San Antonio PD, the noticeably startled teen did not immediately comply, instead asking “Why?” before the officer lunged toward the car. Within a matter of seconds, the vehicle appears to roll backwards several feet, at which point Brennand drew his service pistol and fired off 10 rounds.

Though Cantu is seen driving away from the scene immediately after the shooting, he was reportedly struck several times and has been hospitalized for serious injuries. His condition was unclear as of Friday morning. 

The teen was charged with evading detention in a vehicle and assaulting the officer, as Brennand claims he was hit by the car’s door as Cantu backed up. According to defense attorney Brian Powers, however, local prosecutors have declined to pursue the case.

“We ask for prayers for [the teen] and his family,” Powers told CNN, adding that Cantu remains in the hospital.

Police Captain Alyssa Campos, who oversees training at the department, later clarified that Cantu was not the subject of the original disturbance call. Instead, the officer believed the teen’s car may have been stolen, as its license plate did not match the vehicle. Police have so far not said whether the car was indeed stolen. 

Though a district attorney will review the case, as they do for all police shootings in the area, officer Brennand has not been charged with a crime.

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