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Investigation continues into San Antonio police shooting in fast food restaurant parking lot

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Authorities in San Antonio continued to investigate after a rookie police officer shot a teenager eating in his car at a McDonald's parking lot.

Officer James Brennand had been with the San Antonio Police Department for just seven months when he was dispatched to the restaurant for an unrelated disturbance call on the night of Oct. 2.

On body camera footage released by the police department, he’s heard identifying a car in the parking lot as a vehicle that fled from him the night before.

The video showed Brennand as he approached the car and suddenly opened the driver’s side door. Erik Cantu, aged 17, was seen sitting inside.

The officer ordered Cantu to get out.

Seconds later, Brennand was heard firing several shots at the car as it backed up, and then more shots as it moved through the parking lot.

Cantu suffered multiple gunshot wounds. A female passenger, also 17, was uninjured.

Cantu’s lawyer, Brian Powers, said in a statement that his client was in critical condition.

Three days after the shooting, the San Antonio Police Department announced in a video statement that it had terminated Brennand.

Police Chief William McManus told San Antonio news affiliate KENS 5 that Brennan’s actions were not justified.

“Nothing that that officer did that night were in accordance with our training or our policies,” McManus said.

TPR's attempts to reach Brennand and the police union for comment were unsuccessful.

Cantu was initially charged with evading detention in a vehicle and assaulting a police officer.

But on Friday, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said at a news conference recorded by local station News 4 WOAI that his office had dropped the charges against Cantu.

"Exercising my discretion," he said, "what I have decided to do was to now dismiss this case so that his family can be by his side."

Police officials said they supported Gonzales' decision to drop the charges.

Both the police department and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Civil Rights Division said they launched investigations into the shooting.

San Antonio residents have planned a protest at SAPD headquarters on Tuesday night, when they'll demand that Brennand be immediately arrested and charged for the shooting.

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Marian Navarro produces for Texas Public Radio's Morning Edition and Fronteras.