San Antonio Police Officer Fired For Shooting Teenager Eating McDonald’s

McDonalds Drive Through

The San Antonio Police Department said Wednesday that a probationary officer was fired after shooting at and injuring a 17-year-old boy at McDonald’s.

Erik Cantu, a teenager, is in the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. It was unclear what his condition was on Friday morning.

The officer, identified as James Brennand, was called to the fast-food restaurant on Blanco Road around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday. Police are investigating an unrelated disturbance.

“As the officer attempted to gather information from witnesses, he noticed a vehicle that had evaded him the day before as the officer attempted a stop because the registered license plate did not match the actual vehicle,” said the officer. In a video statement, the department’s training commander, Alyssa Campos, said.

According to Campos, Cantu’s car was not the subject of the McDonald’s disturbance call.

Despite calling “for cover,” the officer approached the vehicle before other officers arrived, she said. According to Campos, the officer opened the driver’s door “abruptly” and ordered Cantu out.

The police department released body-camera footage showing Cantu eating a McDonald’s hamburger in the driver’s seat. A 17-year-old girl sits in the passenger seat.

“Get out of the car,” the officer says to Cantu, the video shows.

Campos said Cantu put the car in reverse while the driver’s door was still open and backed up.

“As the driver reversed away from the officer, he stepped back and opened fire on the vehicle,” she said.

The video shows a maroon car backing away and closing its driver’s door as multiple gunshots can be heard. As the car flees the parking lot, more shots are fired.

Cantu and his passenger were found about a block away. The passenger was not injured.

The police charged Cantu with evading detention and assault on a peace officer. His attorney may have been able to represent him, but it is unclear. Whether the car was stolen or not has not been confirmed by the police.

After just seven months on the force, Brennand was still on probation, as is standard practice for San Antonio police officers fresh out of the academy.

“It is indefensible for him to act in that way and has no place in our training, tactics, or procedures,” Chief William McManus said. “As a result, I have terminated him. Until the further investigation is completed, I will withhold comment.”

All police shootings are reviewed by district attorneys. The criminal charges against Brennand have not yet been filed.

Until an investigation is completed, San Antonio Police Officers’ Association president Danny Diaz will refrain from commenting.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. San Antonio officer fired after shooting at teen sitting in McDonald’s parking lot eating a burger  NBC News
  2. 17-Year-Old Shot by Texas Police Officer at McDonald’s  Inside Edition
  3. Video Shows San Antonio Cop Shooting Teen Eating A McDonald’s Burger In His Car  HuffPost
  4. Man killed by San Antonio police was threatening a woman with gun  San Antonio Express-News
  5. San Antonio cop fired after shooting innocent teen who was just eating a burger in a McDonalds car lot  Boing Boing
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.