Erik Cantu shares photo from hospital bed six weeks after getting shot by police outside McDonald’s

The father of Erik Cantu, 17, shared an image of him in his hospital bed six weeks after he was shot several times by a rookie police officer in San Antonio, Texas.

Erik has been sedated and he has undergone an emergency tracheotomy, in addition to other surgeries.

Former officer James Brennared, 27, discharged his firearm more than 10 times at the car Erik was driving.

In a photo published to a GoFundMe fundraising page on 11 November, Erik can be seen in his hospital bed alongside his father, Eric Cantu Sr. More than $44,000 have been raised so far.

“After 6 long weeks and by the grace of God along with all the prayers sent by the masses we are emerging victoriously from this unfortunate event!!!” Mr Cantu wrote on GoFundMe on 11 November.

Erik Cantu, 17, is recovering in hospital after being shot by an officer on 2 October in San Antonio, Texas (Screenshot / GoFundMe / Natalia Farias-Carranco and Ruben Carranco)
Erik Cantu, 17, is recovering in hospital after being shot by an officer on 2 October in San Antonio, Texas (Screenshot / GoFundMe / Natalia Farias-Carranco and Ruben Carranco)

“You’re the first to see this smile and I’m one proud father to see this young man fight so hard to be here,” he told donors. “We still have one more potential surgery and weeks and months and years of rehab but he’s proving he can do it. Thank you all for being there for us through this journey for Erik.”

James Brennard (SAPD)
James Brennard (SAPD)

Erik’s mother Victoria Casarez told KSAT on 4 November that “Erik is no longer on life support; however, he still is receiving high-flow oxygen via tracheostomy. Open decortication, a surgical procedure to peel away the scar peel that formed on the lung so it can re-expand, was performed on Wednesday. Erik tolerated the surgery very well.”

The teenager suffered injuries to his stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, bicep and forearm.

Erik was shot on 2 October, after which Mr Brennand was removed from the police force. The officer now faces two counts of aggravated assault by a public official. The second count is for the unharmed person in the passenger seat at the time of the shooting.

Police have said that Mr Brennand didn’t follow official procedure after he had walked up to Erik’s vehicle.

Bodycam footage has been released by police, showing Mr Brennand opening the door and telling Erik to exit the car. With the door still open, the car reverses and Mr Brennand fires his gun several times towards the car. As the vehicle moves away, he continues shooting.

According to police, Mr Brennand was responding to a separate incident when he spotted Erik in a car that he thought had gotten away from him the previous day when he attempted to perform a traffic stop. The officer said he believed the car to be stolen.

Police have said that while the car wasn’t stolen, the plates didn’t match the vehicle.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus fired Mr Brennand after he had been on the force for seven months.

“This was a failure for one individual police officer. It had nothing to do with our policies. Our policies did not allow that. Our training does not teach that. So this was a fail... for one particular police officer. And here we are as a result of that fail,” Chief McManus said, according to News 4 San Antonio.