A Texas police officer still in a probationary period that shot and injured a teenager eating a McDonald’s hamburger while sitting in his car earlier this week has been fired.
San Antonio Officer James Brennand responded to an unrelated disturbance at the location when he spotted 17-year-old Erik Cantu. He believed the car Cantu was sitting in had evaded him the day before.
Brennand called for backup but approached the driver’s side of the vehicle before other officers arrived. He opened the car door, surprising Cantu, and demanded he gets out of the vehicle.
Body cam footage released by the department shows the teen eating a hamburger. Cantu’s passenger, a 17-year-old girl, sits in the passenger seat.
When Brennand asks Cantu to get out of the car, he asks why, and the car begins to reverse. Brennand fired several shots at the car as it drove away. Brennand continues to fire at the vehicle as it drives out of the parking lot.
Cantu and his passenger, who was not injured, were located about a block away. Cantu was hospitalized for his injuries and is in stable condition. He was initially charged with evading police and aggravated assault. However, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said no decision has been made on whether or not the charges will stand.
USA Today reports that his office has not decided on whether or not to bring charges against Brennand. The case will be submitted to a grand jury for consideration. A police investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
“There is nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night,” said Police Chief William McManus to WOAI-TV. “I think what happened, initially, there was some contact made, but that did not justify the shooting.”
Brennand had been with the department for less than one year and was still in a probationary period. Police training commander Alyssa Campos said in a statement that the rookie officer broke training and police procedures by approaching the car.
Police have not revealed whether or not Cantu’s vehicle was stolen.
Check out a clip of the shooting below.