Ex-Cop Indicted on Attempted Murder For Shooting Teenager in McDonald’s Parking Lot

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

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A former San Antonio police officer has officially been indicted on attempted murder and assault charges. This after he shot an unarmed 17-year-old boy in the McDonald’s parking lot back in October. A grand jury handed down the indictment for the officer, James Brennand, who was a San Antonio police probation officer. He had 7 months of experience when the incident occurred. He’s being charged with one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault, this according to Bexar County district attorney Joe Gonzales. 

“Justice means making sure that man never works as a member of law enforcement, making sure that that man never has a gun and a badge,” Gonzales stated. Authorities say that a teenager, Erik Cantu,  was eating in his car outside of the McDonald’s when the former officer approached the vehicle. The officer thought that it was a car that previously evaded him, and he was set to confront him. Body camera footage shows Brennand quickly opening the door,  that’s when the visibly startled teenager backed up and began to have a way with another passenger inside the vehicle. Brennand quickly fired his weapon 10 times at the vehicle. 

San Antonio Police Officer Indicted in Erik Cantu Shooting at McDonald’s

Authorities stated that Cantu was critically injured with several wounds to vital organs, and spent eight weeks in the hospital. His family was able to announce his release just last week saying that he was still recovering from his injuries. Nico LaHood, Brennand’s defense attorney, spoke to CNN about the incident, saying, “Until this day, James Brennand has been tried in the court of public opinion without the benefit of his side of the story being known.”

Brennand was quickly fired from the San Antonio Police Department just days after the shooting. Over a week after the incident, he decided to turn himself into the police and was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant. This was one for each passenger. He was then released from custody after posting a $100,000 bond for each of the counts. 

At the time of the arrest, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus stated, “There is no question in anybody’s mind looking at that (body camera) video that the shooting is not justified.”

He went on to say that the former cop’s actions heavily violated the Department’s policies against shooting at any moving vehicle. Each aggravated assault Brennand is spacing carries a sentence of five to 99 years, and the attempted murder charge carries a sentence of two to 20 years.

Read More: Cop Accidentally Tasers Partner Instead of Criminal

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