Texas police fires officer who shot a teen sitting in his

A Texas police force has fired an officer who shot and wounded a teenager sitting in his car eating a hamburger.

The San Antonio police department fired James Brennand after he shot Erik Cantu, 17, on 2 October in a fast-food restaurant parking lot, the agency’s training commander, Alyssa Campos, said in a video statement released Wednesday.

Brennand had been sent to investigate an unrelated disturbance at the eatery when he saw Cantu inside a car that had evaded him a day earlier, Campos said.

“As the officer attempted to gather information from witnesses, he noticed a vehicle that had evaded him the day before as the officer attempted a stop because the registered license plate did not match the actual vehicle,” she said.

A Texas prosecutor said in a statement Friday that he has not seen enough evidence to file charges against the teenager, who, after Brennand approached him, backed up his car and struck the dismissed officer with an open door.

“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 led us to reject the charges against Erik Cantu for further investigation,” district attorney Joe Gonzales said.

Brennand had been on the police force for seven months when he violated both his training as well as agency procedures after approaching Cantu’s car, according to Campos.

Campos said Brennand “abruptly opened the driver’s door and ordered the driver out of the car” before the arrival of backup officers whom Brennand had requested.

Brennand’s body-worn camera captured a startled Cantu looking toward him while holding a hamburger, backing up the car and hitting the officer with the opened door.

As the door closed and Cantu drove away, Brennand fired his service pistol several times at the driver, striking him.

Cantu stopped nearby, and police soon found him and a passenger, who was not injured.

“There is nothing I can say in defense of that officer’s actions that night,” police chief William McManus later said, according to the local news outlet WOAI-TV. “I think what happened, initially, there was some contact made, but that did not justify the shooting.”

Cantu was hospitalized in stable condition, and before prosecutors refused the charges against the teen, police booked him with evading an officer and aggravated assault.

Gonzales said his office had not decided whether to pursue charges against Brennand but that the police investigation into the shooting remained pending.