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A 17-year-old boy who was shot several times by a rookie cop as he sat in his car eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger is currently on life support after several of his organs were punctured during the shooting.

The family of Erik Cantu say the teenager has had to undergo a number of surgeries to repair major organs that were damaged by gunfire, according to attorney Brian Powers, who spoke to TMZ.

Cantu’s lungs are effectively being operated by the life support machine and he remains under sedation while his body takes the time it needs to recover. 

Powers said that Cantu faces a long road to recovery but that his family are thankful for the prayers they have received. 

The rookie San Antonio cop, James Brennand, 25, who shot Cantu, who was unarmed, has since been fired.

Brennand is a married former soldier who was commended for his firearm skills while in the police academy. 

A 17-year-old boy who was shot several times by a rookie cop as he sat in his car eating a McDonald's cheeseburger is currently on life support after several of his organs were punctured during the shooting.

A 17-year-old boy who was shot several times by a rookie cop as he sat in his car eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger is currently on life support after several of his organs were punctured during the shooting.

Eric Cantu pictured on his Facebook page in September 2022

Eric Cantu pictured on his Facebook page in September 2022

Erik Cantu was hospitalized at nearby University Hospital following the shooting. Following the shooting, Brennand administered CPR while he waited for paramedics. 

Last Wednesday, the San Antonio Police Department acted swiftly in firing Brennand.

 At the time of his termination, he was still in his probationary period — which means he’s not entitled to an appeal — and had been on the job for just seven months. 

Law enforcement initially laid charges against the teenager for evading arrest and assault on a police officer, but those have since been dropped.

According to his LinkedIn page, Brennand previously served in the US Army as a military dog handler. He enlisted in 2016. Brennand was stationed outside of Seattle

According to his LinkedIn page, Brennand previously served in the US Army as a military dog handler. He enlisted in 2016. Brennand was stationed outside of Seattle

Brennand and his wife pictured in a photoshopped image created by their realtor after Arnold was not present when the pair closed on a home in 2021

Brennand and his wife pictured in a photoshopped image created by their realtor after Arnold was not present when the pair closed on a home in 2021

Under Texas law, due to the fact that the teen had charges pending against him, his family was only permitted to be by his bedside for limited periods of time. 

Prior to the release of the video, Brennand maintained he only opened fire on Cantu after the teenager hit him with his car. The new video shows otherwise.  

Brennand was called to the McDonald’s after a reported disturbance unrelated to Cantu. When the officer arrived  at the scene, he apparently mistook the teens’ car for a vehicle that evaded him the previous night. 

That car had sped away from Brennand when he attempted to pull it over as its license plates did not match the car. 

Brennand is no stranger to shooting - he placed fourth in the 'firearms' category in his police cadet class in 2021

Brennand is no stranger to shooting – he placed fourth in the ‘firearms’ category in his police cadet class in 2021

Brennand approached Cantu’s maroon car and called for cover, but quickly tried to take matters into his own hands and opened the car door. 

Police have not confirmed whether Cantu’s car was stolen.  

The video shows the moment Brennand surprised Cantu and demanded the teen get out of the car.

As Cantu questioned the officer’s orders, he attempted to put the car in reverse and the door catches Brennand.

Brennand quickly opened fire and shot into the driver’s side of the vehicle as Cantu reversed, and the bodycam footage caught the cop shouting ‘shots fired!’ into his radio. 

Cantu pulled out of the parking spot and tried to drive away, but Brennand continued shooting into the back of the vehicle.

The teens were then found outside the vehicle a block away from the shooting.

Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales confirmed that upon reviewing the video, his office instructed the police department to drop the charges against Cantu. 

Gonzales also updated the public on Cantu’s condition saying: ‘This young man is in critical but stable condition in the hospital. There was some issue with his parents being able to have extended contact with him. I understand it’s a touch-and-go situation.’

He added: ‘Exercising my discretion, what I decided to do for now is dismiss this case so that his family can be by his side.’

With regards to possible charges against Officer Brennand, Gonzales said: ‘That case is pending. We will have to wait until SAPD files the entire case in our office. We will then review it.’ 

He went on: ‘My concern right now is with the health of this young man, with his parents’ ability to be by his side, and so that’s why we have done what we have done. It’ll take some time for SAPD to file the complete case with us and then we’ll make the decision.’

‘I commend the San Antonio Police Department for taking the action that they did for terminating this individual because, clearly, there was concern on their part. It is commendable that members of that department saw fit to terminate this individual,’ the district attorney added. 

There is a possibility that Brennand could face criminal charges. 

Cantu's lungs are effectively being operated by the life support machine and he remains under sedation while his body takes the time it needs to recover

Cantu’s lungs are effectively being operated by the life support machine and he remains under sedation while his body takes the time it needs to recover 

According to Cantu’s Facebook page, he works at The Wash Tub, a San Antonio-based car service business. 

His former supervisor, Christopher Montalvo, told KSAT that Cantu worked at the business for three months earlier this year. 

Montalvo said he last saw Cantu two weeks ago when he came in for a car wash. He said: ‘Good laughs, just normal human being stuff. Nothing really serious. I never got a bad vibe from (Cantu). He was always a really good guy to me, and he always respected me. Every time I told him to do something, he always did it, and he worked hard.’

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The supervisor was not aware that Cantu had been shot. When he was shown the video by a KSAT reporter, Montalvo said: ‘That’s hard to watch. That’s scary. I’m speechless, honestly. (Cantu) looks scared. He looks terrified. He doesn’t know what’s going on. He was just in his car eating. That right there, that personally didn’t look right to me.’ 

When Cantu reversed, the door of the vehicle reportedly hit Brennand, and the cop then draws his gun and immediately starts firing on the teen couple

When Cantu reversed, the door of the vehicle reportedly hit Brennand, and the cop then draws his gun and immediately starts firing on the teen couple

Brennand shoots the drivers side window repeatedly and shouts 'shots fired' into his radio, and Cantu attempts to drive away

Brennand shoots the drivers side window repeatedly and shouts ‘shots fired’ into his radio, and Cantu attempts to drive away

Even as Cantu drove away, Brennand keeps shooting into the vehicle

Even as Cantu drove away, Brennand keeps shooting into the vehicle

Posts on Cantu’s Facebook page show a keen interest in cars, there are multiple pictures showing him in front of a Dodge Charger, which comments indicate he had just purchased in May. 

Under that picture, his grandmother wrote: ‘My boy, I’m very excited for you, I just ask you one thing, drive safely and take care of yourself, love you lots, God is good.’ 

He replied: ‘I appreciate it Liz. You have always been like a mother to me. You always treated me like if I was your son. Can’t wait to show it to you!’ 

In February, he posted a photo showing him behind the wheel of a Ford Bronco. While in March he posted a video showing him in the passenger side of a Ferrari. 

On the Intro section of his page, Cantu wrote: ‘Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. KJV Proverbs 3:5.’ 

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