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17-year-old shot dead in McDonald’s parking lot by San Antonio officer released from hospital

Erik Cantu, the 17-year-old boy who was shot by a San Antonio police officer in a McDonald’s parking lot, is back home after spending nearly two arduous months in hospital, his family has announced.

Erik Cantu with his parents after being released from a San Antonio hospital.Cantu Family Document / Ben Crump Law

Cantu was placed on life support after the Oct. 2 shooting, in which he was shot multiple times by Officer James Brennand, and was “fighting for his life” over the following weeks, his son previously said. attorney Brian Powers.

Cantu’s parents released a statement on Wednesday saying he was released from the hospital just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Our family’s prayers have been answered and we are extremely grateful that our son Erik is home with us. Erik still has a long way to go in his recovery, but we are delighted with his progress over the past two weeks. “, they said. .

“It means for us that we can spend Thanksgiving with family outside the walls of the hospital, where we have lived since Erik was horribly injured,” the statement continued. “We are grateful for many blessings this week – Erik’s strength, everyone who supported us during Erik’s hospitalization and God’s grace. Thank you.”

During the Oct. 2 shooting, Cantu was sitting in a brown vehicle in the parking lot of a McDonald’s when Brennand, who was present on a call unrelated to the trouble, opened the driver’s door and ordered him to out, police said.

17-year-old shot dead in McDonald's parking lot by San Antonio officer released from hospital

Police body camera footage showed Cantu in the driver’s seat eating a burger and a 17-year-old girl in the passenger seat.

He put the car in reverse with the driver’s door still open and backed out. Capt. Alyssa Campos, the police department’s training commander, said in a video statement that the door hit Brennand.

Brennand then opened fire five times as the car backed up, the video showed. He fired five more shots as Cantu walked away. Cantu was found a block away with multiple gunshot wounds and was hospitalized, police said.

Police say Brennand approached Cantu’s car because he believed it had slipped away from him the previous day when he attempted to carry out a traffic stop. Campos said Brennand believed the car was stolen, a claim the family denies.

At the time of the shooting, Brennand had been on the force for seven months and was still on probation, a common practice for San Antonio officers who graduated from the police academy less than a year ago.

He was fired after the shooting, then arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on October 11. He posted bail and was released.

Minyvonne Burke contributed.

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