Former San Antonio employee James Brenand has been charged in the shooting of a teenager


A former San Antonio police officer has been charged after shooting an unarmed teenager eating in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot in October, prosecutors said said this week.

James Brenand faces one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant after a surveillance video showed him shooting 17-year-old Eric Cantu, prosecutors announced Thursday in press conference.

Cantu was taken to hospital in “critical but stable condition”, the police said at this time. His family said he was released from the hospital last week. According to San Antonio-based station KSAT.

“The video of the shooting has been seen all over the country,” said Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzalez. (D) said at the press conference. “The harm that comes from an incident like this sends ripples through our community.”

The Washington Post could not immediately reach Brenand on Friday.

Brenand’s attorney, Nicholas LaHood, said CNN that his client was tried by the public “without the benefit of his side of the story being known”. Lahoud didn’t do it right away responded to The Post’s request for comment Friday.

“We expect more information to be revealed to further shed light on this incident,” LaHood told CNN.

Texas police have charged a former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager eating a hamburger

If convicted, Brennan could face up to 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charge. Each count of aggravated assault carries a maximum potential sentence of 99 years.

On the night of Oct. 2, while Brenand was investigating a report of an unrelated disturbance at the fast-food restaurant, the officer, who had been fired less than a week after the shooting, saw a car he believed had fled from him the night before. He called for backup because he suspected the car was stolen, police said.

Brenand jerked the driver’s door open and ordered Cantu out, body cam footage posted from the police showed. A moment later, Cantu put the car in reverse with the door still open and hit Brenand with it. The officer stepped back and fired five times. He shot the car five more times as it drove off. Cantu was hit “multiple” times, police said.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called the shooting “unjustified.” Gonzalez, the district attorney, dismissed the police charges against Cantu. Days later, Brenand turned himself in to police and was arrested.

At least two other former San Antonio police officers have been indicted this year for allegedly using excessive force. In February, a grand jury indicted former police officer Oscar Cruz Jr. for shooting twice at teenagers who were running from him while he was responding to two calls about teens pulling on car door handles. KSAT reported. He was charged with deadly conduct, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Michael Brewer, another former officer, was charged after placing his knee on the head and neck of a handcuffed man, KSAT reported. He is charged with illegal detention, Express-News reported.

Both incidents were recorded by the officers’ body cameras.

This week’s indictment is a relief to Cantu and his family, attorney Ben Crump said in a statement shared with The Post.

“The grand jury’s decision to indict one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault is a significant step toward justice — but there is still a long way to go,” Crump said. “We will continue to fight for accountability and transparency through the legal process.”

Rachel Pannett contributed to this report.

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