San Antonio police officer who shot teen in McDonald's parking lot has been arrested and charged

SAPD's Homicide Unit filed two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant against the former rookie cop.

click to enlarge James Ramos, a friend of Erik Cantu, speaks to protesters at SAPD headquarters Tuesday evening, less than an hour before charges were filed against former officer James Brennand. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
James Ramos, a friend of Erik Cantu, speaks to protesters at SAPD headquarters Tuesday evening, less than an hour before charges were filed against former officer James Brennand.
The former San Antonio cop who shot and wounded 17-year-old Erik Cantu in the parking lot of a North Side McDonald's has been arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, according to SAPD.

During a Tuesday night press conference, SAPD Police Chief William McManus said the first-degree felony charges against former officer James Brennand have been handed over to the Bexar County District Attorney's Office.

One of the charges relates to Cantu, who remains hospitalized, the chief said. The other relates to a passenger who was in the car with him.

Detectives with SAPD’s Homicide Unit filed the charges against Brennand after investigating an Oct. 2 incident in which the rookie officer fired 10 rounds at Cantu, striking him several times.

Brennand was responding to an unrelated call when he saw the teen's maroon car in the McDonald's parking lot and believed it to be a vehicle that evaded him the night before.

Body-cam video released by SAPD shows Brennand whip open the driver-side door, surprising Cantu. After the car rolls backward in the clip, the officer is seen firing five shots. He then unloads five more as Cantu attempts to flee the parking lot.

SAPD fired Brennand three days after the shooting. Officials said he violated police procedures and tactics.

Cantu remains in a San Antonio hospital on life support, according to Brian Powers, the family’s attorney.

Word of Brennand’s arrest came less than an hour after the conclusion of a protest at SAPD headquarters, where an array of local civil rights groups demanded Brennand's arrest.

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