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Former San Antonio officer who shot teen in McDonald’s parking lot is arrested

James Brennand, who was fired by the San Antonio Police Department last week, was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault. He has been released on bond.

A former San Antonio police officer who shot a teenager while he sat in his car in a McDonald's parking lot has been arrested on two counts of assault, police said Tuesday.

James Brennand, who was an officer with the San Antonio Police Department when the shooting occurred, turned himself in Tuesday and was arrested, Police Chief William McManus said.

The police department filed two counts of aggravated assault by public servant against Brennand on Tuesday, police said.

He was fired two days after the Oct. 2 shooting.

Erik Cantu, 17, was shot multiple times and remained unconscious and on life support, an attorney for his family said Wednesday.

In a statement Wednesday provided by the family attorney, Cantu's parents said they are maintaining optimism and focusing on his health.

"We have no comment to the former officer's arrest at this time. Our main priority is Erik's recovery," the statement said. "Erik is still on life-support and is non-responsive but his oxygen levels are showing an improvement. We are being patient and optimistic that better health is coming. Please continue to keep Erik in your thoughts and prayers."

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday that it will present the case to a grand jury at a later time.

"The arrest does not complete the SAPD investigation into the Oct. 2, 2022, shooting," the statement said. "Our office awaits the conclusion of the investigation so that our Civil Rights Division can fully review the case and take whatever action justice demands."

Brennand has been released on bond, records show.

Online court records did not show an attorney for him Wednesday. A phone number for Brennand could not be found.

Brennand was responding to an unrelated disturbance call at the McDonald’s around 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 2 when the shooting occurred.

He noticed a car, driven by Cantu, that had evaded him earlier in the day over a registration that did not match, police have said.

Brennand had abruptly opened the door, ordered Cantu to get out and opened fire when the car was put in reverse and backed up, police have said.

Brennand had been on the force for seven months and was still in a probationary period.

He faces two counts of aggravated assault, because two people were in the car when the shots were fired, McManus said. A 17-year-old girl in the passenger seat was not injured.

McManus has said Brennand's actions were indefensible.

The president of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association said the union is not representing Brennand. New recruits must finish a one-year probationary period to get benefits.

“This is currently an open case; we are confident that our department has conducted a thorough and formal investigation,” union president Danny Diaz said. “We will refrain from further comment until the judicial process is complete.”