Family Says Officer’mutilated’ San Antonio Teen Shot While Eating Cheeseburger

In their first public comments since the shooting earlier this month, the family of a 17-year-old boy shot by a San Antonio police officer while eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger in his car revealed Tuesday that the child had four bullets removed from his body and developed pneumonia at the hospital.

“It’s on the edge of disaster. It’s a lot of work, “Said Erik Cantu Sr., whose son had a tracheotomy and now needs mechanical help breathing. There is some improvement in his condition because his wounds are healing, but the damage he has sustained is extensive.

Family Says Officer'mutilated' San Antonio Teen Shot While Eating Cheeseburger.
Family Says Officer’mutilated’ San Antonio Teen Shot While Eating Cheeseburger.

On October 2nd, ex-San Antonio police officer James Brennand shot and killed 17-year-old Erik Cantu in a McDonald’s parking lot. Later that week, Brennand was terminated and arrested on two counts of aggravated violence against a public servant. Upon approaching the vehicle, Brennand allegedly went against his training and department policy, according to the police.

His mother reported that four bullets were taken from her son’s corpse at the hospital, but that one was left near his heart. Victoria Casarez, the teen’s mother, said her son suffered injuries to his stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, and arm. In the words of his father, he underwent emergency surgery in which a large incision was made across his chest and down into his stomach.

Victoria Casarez lamented, “He’s basically mangled, and it saddens us to watch our baby this way.”

On Tuesday, human rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, revealed at a press conference that he had visited with Cantu’s parents and that Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales had told them their son had been shot after being “profiled.”

According to Crump, the district attorney told the family that the police officer had stereotyped Cantu because he was a Hispanic youngster with a bowl haircut. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office reiterated the department’s policy of not discussing specifics of pending cases in the media.

Crump stated that the teenager “is continuing to struggle for his life on life support.”

Brennand was on his way to the McDonald’s for a different reason when he saw Cantu sitting in the car. Brennand, according to the authorities, later said he thought the car had been stolen and had gotten away from him the day before. The police have determined that even though Cantu’s vehicle’s license plates didn’t match, the automobile itself was not stolen.

Casarez has stated that she would like to see more serious accusations brought against him, such as attempted murder.

She told reporters that there was additional body camera footage that had not been made public and that it was “very terrible to watch, to experience,” adding that something needed to be done about it.

On Tuesday, several relatives gave interviews to the press, some of which were given in Spanish. There was also a demand for justice from the San Antonio police department made by a representative of LULAC.

 

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