An armed 17-year-old teenager was shot last month when he was sitting in a car parked outside a McDonald’s restaurant. A Texas grand jury on Thursday indicted a former San Antonio police officer on counts of attempted murder and assault.
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said during a press conference on Thursday that the officer, 28-year-old James Brennand, was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon by a public official and one count of attempted murder.
Brennand shot Eric Cantu on the evening of October 2 and was initially detained on assault charges last month.
The San Antonio Police Department has released body camera footage of the incident, which shows Brennand, who had only been on the force for a little over a year, approaching a car before opening its door and ordering Cantu, who was sitting in the front seat, to “get out of the car.”
Cantu, who appears surprised, opens the door and shifts into reverse. Brennand then fires several shots into and at the moving vehicle.
According to the police, Brennand approached Cantu’s automobile thinking it had eluded him the day before while he was at McDonald’s for an unrelated disturbance.
Cantu was shot numerous times during the event, taken to the hospital in critical condition, and given life support. Cantu’s GoFundMe page claims that the teen came home last week.
Gonzales assured the media on Thursday that they would use every legal means at their disposal to guarantee Cantu gets the punishment he deserves.
“Justice entails bringing charges against that person for their actions. Justice entails being found guilty. Justice entails ensuring that he never serves as a law enforcement officer, does not possess a firearm and a badge, “added he. Justice entails pursuing the proper retribution.
Gonzales stated that because Emily Proulx, 17, was riding in the passenger seat, Brennand was facing two first-degree assault counts for each of the other passengers. She wasn’t hurt.
If found guilty, Brennand faces sentences ranging from two to twenty years for the second-degree attempted murder allegation and five years to life for each of the assault offenses.
According to him, the maximum punishment currently seems acceptable. “We absolutely will be seeking what we perceive to be a suitable punishment,” he said.
He stated that Daryl Harris, director of the office’s civil rights division, would handle the case.
Harris told the media that they met with the Cantu family, briefed them on the situation, and assured them that justice will be done.
“Nobody who works in this field makes predictions regarding the results. But if we come to this stage, I would say that over the course of my time in this position, we are confident and at ease, with the evidence, we have so far, and we are confident in our capacity to pursue that evidence to whatever extent is necessary.”