Erik Cantu, the 17-year-old who was shot by a San Antonio police officer in a McDonald’s parking lot, is back home after spending nearly two grueling months in the hospital, his family announced.
Cantu was 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” in the weeks that followed, his attorney Brian Powers previously said.
Cantu’s parents issued a statement 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 incredibly grateful that our son Erik is home with us. Erik still has a long road to recovery ahead of him, but we are delighted with his progress over the past two weeks,” they said. . .
“It means a lot to us that we get to spend Thanksgiving as a family outside the hospital walls, where we have lived since Erik was horribly injured,” the statement continued. “We are grateful for the many blessings this week: Erik’s strength, everyone who has supported us during Erik’s hospitalization, and God’s grace. Thank you.”
In the Oct. 2 shooting, Cantu was sitting in a maroon vehicle in the parking lot of a McDonald’s when Brennand, who was present on an unrelated disturbance call, opened the driver’s door and ordered him out, police said.
Police body camera footage showed Cantu in the driver’s seat eating a hamburger 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 up. Capt. Alyssa Campos, training commander for the police department, 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 said Brennand approached Cantu’s car because he believed he had evaded them the day before when he tried to stop him. Campos said Brennand thought the car had been 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, standard 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.