It was revealed on Tuesday that the former San Antonio police officer who shot an unarmed 17-year-old in a McDonald’s parking lot last week would be charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant.
Police Chief William McManus announced at a press conference on Tuesday that the officer, identified as James Brennand, had turned himself in to San Antonio police that night.
In connection with the gunshot on October 2 that left the adolescent in serious condition, Brennand was terminated from his position and arrested days later. Prior to his arrest, CNN had attempted to contact Brennand for comment, but he never responded. The presence or absence of legal counsel for him remained unclear as of Tuesday night.
Police chief stated both driver and passenger were charged with aggravated assault.
Shooting “was unwarranted, both administratively and criminally,” McManus said. We looked into it as a possible criminal act because “there was a criminal element to it.”
The police chief mentioned that the agency has communicated with the district attorney’s office, which may require additional details before presenting the case to a grand jury.
“We worked on this for several days to get to this stage where we could present a warrant to a judge for signature, and that’s where we are right now,” McManus said.
‘It was a terrible video’
As McManus has stated, it was obvious from the start that the shooting was “not justifiable.” If the 17-year-old does not make it, the aggravated assault charges could be upgraded to murder.
The CEO had previously told CNN’s Brianna Keilar, “The footage was horrible.” Everybody can see from that footage that the shooting was completely unjustified.
McManus claims he saw something was wrong at the shooting site only by looking at the placement of the bullet holes.
Police personnel are not allowed to fire against moving automobiles, under department protocol, unless “imminent danger” to themselves or others exists.
“Right away I had a problem with the placement of the bullet holes. “It’s pretty clear to me at that point that we’re going to have an issue,” McManus said, referring to the fact that “you can tell by looking at the vehicles, which way the vehicle is moving when the shots are fired, and this vehicle, it was very telling to me, that this vehicle was moving away from the officer, and moving parallel with the officer.”
Brennand, a probationary cop with only seven months of service, is accused of shooting and killing Erik Cantu, a teenager who was sitting in his car eating fast food, one week ago.
The police said that while responding to a separate disturbance incident at the McDonald’s, Brennand spotted a car he recognized as the one that had eluded them the day before.
Police body cam footage shows an officer approaching the driver’s side of a car, opening the door, and yelling at the driver to exit before other policemen arrive. After being surprised, the teenage driver, who had been eating, shifted into reverse and began backing up.
The officer then reportedly fired five shots at the vehicle. The officer’s body camera footage showed him firing his weapon five more times as the automobile moved forward.
Cantu’s family reported on Monday that he had been shot numerous times and was in serious condition and on life support. The car’s passenger walked away unscathed.