UPDATED 11/23, 7:15 p.m. ET: Erik Cantu has returned home following an extended hospital stay.
His family confirmed the news in a statement Wednesday, nearly two months after a San Antonio police officer shot the 17-year-old in a McDonald’s parking lot. Cantu’s relatives said he is still recovering, but has made notable improvements throughout November.
“Our family’s prayers have been answered, and we are incredibly grateful that our son Erik is home with us,” his family wrote. “Erik still has a long road to recovery ahead of him but, we are overjoyed at his progress in the past two weeks. It means the world to us that we can spend Thanksgiving as a family outside of the hospital walls, where we have lived since Erik was horribly injured. We are thankful for many blessings this week – Erik’s strength, everyone who has supported us through Erik’s hospitalization, and the grace of God. Thank you.”
The teen’s aunt Natalia Farias-Carranco and uncle Ruben Carranco have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of Cantu’s medical bills. As of Wednesday evening, more than donations have poured for a total of $47,000. The family has set a fundraising goal of $100,000.
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The family of the teenager who was shot by Texas police in a McDonald’s parking lot earlier this month wants the since-fired officer to face more serious charges.
According to TMZ, which cited recently retained attorney Ben Crump in its latest report on Thursday, the family of 17-year-old Erik Cantu believes fired San Antonio police officer James Brennand should be charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting.
As reported last week, a criminal investigation led by the San Antonio Police Department’s homicide unit resulted in the aggravated assault charges brought against Brennand, who was ultimately released on bond. At the time, per a statement shared by another legal rep on behalf of the family, Cantu remained on life support.
Crump was announced to have been retained by Cantu’s family earlier this week. In a statement at the time, Crump noted that Cantu was not armed when his rights were violated by Brennand.
“Erik was unarmed and simply eating a cheeseburger when this officer violated his fourth amendment rights by opening his car door, violently accosting and shooting at him ten times,” Crump said on Wednesday. “These charges are woefully inadequate considering the level of violence that this officer inflicted on the victims in the car.”
Mentioned in Thursday’s report is that Cantu’s family is presently considering the possibility of taking legal action over the shooting, which was captured in body camera footage. Complex has reached out to Crump’s office for additional comment. This post may be updated.