Ex-Texas officer charged after shooting teenager eating hamburger

A now-former San Antonio police officer has been charged after shooting a teenager who was eating a hamburger in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot. 

The ex-officer, James Brennand, faces two counts of aggravated assault in the shooting of Erik Cantu, San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus said, according to local affiliate KHOU.

Brennand was fired from his position with the department last week after shooting the 17-year-old teenager in his vehicle. According to released body cam footage, Cantu was seen eating a hamburger when Brennand approached him while responding to a call about a disturbance at the restaurant. 

Brennand reportedly ordered Cantu to get out of his vehicle, but the teenager immediately attempted to drive off, striking Brennand with his open driver door. Brennand then opened fire several times as Cantu closed his door and drove off, according to The Associated Press. 

Cantu suffered multiple gunshot wounds. A passenger in his car was not injured. 

Cantu was initially charged with evading police and aggravated assault in the incident, but the charges have since been dropped. He’s currently hospitalized under critical condition.

Brennand could face murder charges if Cantu dies.

According to KHOU, Brennand thought Cantu’s vehicle was the same one that got away from him in a traffic stop the day before.

“The video was horrific,” McManus told KHOU.  “There’s no question in anybody’s mind looking at the video that the shooting is not justified. And it took us a couple days to terminate Brennand, but he was gone pretty quickly.”

SAPD training commissioner Alyssa Campos said that Brennand, who was in his seventh month as a probationary officer, violated his training and police procedures for approaching Cantu’s vehicle. 

The Hill has reached out to the San Antonio Police Department for comment and more information.