A Texas police officer who shot and wounded a teenager who had been sitting in his car eating a hamburger has been fired, police said.
San Antonio Officer James Brennand was fired after shooting Erik Cantu, 17, on Oct. 2 in a fast-food restaurant parking lot, police training commander Alyssa Campos said in a video statement published Wednesday.
Brennand had been responding to an unrelated disturbance at the fast-food restaurant when he saw the Cantu inside the car that had eluded him a day earlier, Campos said.
A Texas prosecutor said in a statement Friday that he has not seen enough evidence to file charges against the teenager.
“While Sunday’s shooting of an unarmed teenager by a then-San Antonio police officer remains under investigation, the facts and evidence we have received so far have led us to dismiss the charges against Erik Cantu pending further investigation,” said Bexar County’s District Attorney Joe Gonzales. .
Brennand, who had been on the force for less than a year, violated his training and police procedures after approaching the car, Campos said.
“The officer suddenly opened the driver’s door and ordered the driver out of the car” before the arrival of backup officers, as Brennand had requested, Campos said.
Cantu, in the officer’s body camera video, looks toward Brennand while holding a hamburger, then backs the car away and hits the officer with the open door.
Brennand then opened fire several times as the door closed and Cantu drove away.
Cantu, who was hit by gunfire, stopped nearby, where he and a passenger, who was not injured, were found by police.
“There’s nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night,” Police Chief William McManus told WOAI-TV. “I think initially there was contact, but that didn’t justify the shooting.”
Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition and initially charged with eluding police and aggravated battery.
Gonzales, the district attorney, said no decision had been made on whether to pursue charges against Brennand pending the outcome of a police investigation into the shooting.
“As we do with all officer-involved shootings that result in death or serious injury, we will present the case to a grand jury for their consideration. Until that happens, we cannot comment further on this case,” Gonzales said.
Police and an attorney for Cantu did not immediately return phone calls for comment Friday.