A Texas police officer who shot and wounded a teenager who was sitting in his car eating a hamburger has been fired, police said.
San Antonio Officer James Brennan was fired after shooting Eric Cantu, 17, on Oct. 2 in a McDonald’s parking lot, police training director Alyssa Campos said in a video statement released Wednesday, which included the officer’s body camera video of the incident.
Brennand had been responding to an unrelated disturbance at McDonald’s when he saw Cantu in the car, which 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 the county attorney. Bexar Joe Gonzales. .
Brennand, who has been on the force for less than a year, violated training and police procedures after approaching the car, Campos said.
“The officer jerked open the driver’s door and ordered the driver out of the car” before the backup officers requested by Brendan arrived, Campos said.
Cantu, in the officer’s body camera video, looks at Brennand holding a hamburger, then drives away, hitting the officer with the open door.
Brennand then opened fire multiple times as the door closed and Cantu walked away.
Cantu, who was hit by gunfire, stopped nearby, where he and a passenger, who was not injured, were found by police.
“I can’t say anything to defend the actions of that officer that night,” Police Chief William McManus told WOAI-TV. “I think what happened, initially there was some contact, but that didn’t justify the shooting.”
Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition and initially charged with fleeing police and aggravated assault.
Gonzalez, the district attorney, said no decision has been made on whether to file charges against Brendan pending the outcome of the police investigation into the shooting.
“As we do with all police-involved shootings that result in death or serious injury, we will present the case to a Grand Jury for their review. Until that happens, we cannot comment further on this matter,” said Gonzales.
Police and an attorney for Cantu did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.