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Eric Cantu, a 17-year-old who was unarmed when a San Antonio police officer opened fire on him outside a McDonald’s restaurant, has left the hospital after recovering from his wounds.
The teenager’s mother Victoria Casarez told KSAT that her son has returned home after more than a month recovering after the 2 October incident. She shared that his recovery journey will continue with “lots of rehab and love.”
The officer who shot the teen, James Brennand, has since been fired by the San Antonio Police Department. He has also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, which is a first-degree felony.
Mr Brennand was released from a local jail after posting a $200,000 bond and is awaiting his trial.
Eric’s stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, bicep and forearm were all damaged as a result of the shooting. Immediately after the incident Eric was put on life support but has since recovered.
On 1 October, Mr Brennand attempted to stop Eric’s vehicle after running the plates and finding that the license did not match the car. Eric allegedly drove off, but Mr Brennand did not pursue.
The following night, Mr Brennand saw the vehicle parked in a McDonald’s parking lot and approached the driver side door to confront Eric. The officer opened Eric’s driver-side door and began shouting orders, but Eric slammed the door and attempted to drive off.
At that point, Mr Brennand pulled his pistol and fired multiple shots into the driver side door, wounding Eric numerous times.
Eric was taken to a local hospital and put on life support.
The city dropped a charge of “evading detention” against Eric for fleeing the officer during the shooting. It was also revealed that Eric was not driving a stolen vehicle the night of the incident.
The scene was captured on Mr Brennand’s body camera, and showed the officer approaching the vehicle, opening the door, and responding with gunfire when the teen drove away.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the officer’s actions were indefensible.
“There is nothing I can say in defence of that officer’s actions that night,” he said. “I think what happened, initially, there was some contact made, but that did not justify the shooting.”