Father Took 14-Year-Old to Store to Kill: Police

Richard Acosta is in custody, but his son is being sought in the fatal shootings
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2021 3:56 PM CST
Police Hunt 14-Year-Old in Slayings of 3 Teenagers
Richard Acosta, 33, is charged with capital murder in the slayings at a Texas convenience store last weekend. Police are searching for his 14-year-old son.   (Garland Police Department via AP)

The getaway driver for a teenager who shot to death three teenagers at a Texas convenience store on Sunday was his father, police said. Richard Acosta, 33, and his son have been charged with capital murder, ABC News reports. The father turned himself in and is being held on $1 million bond. But his son, 14-year-old Abel Elias Acosta, is on the run. Garland police asked for help. "He is armed. And he is dangerous," said Police Lt. Pedro Barineau. "We need the public to step up and turn him in. We need to get him off the street."

Acosta drove his son to the gas station store, police said. Surveillance video shows him inside just before the shooting, per the Dallas Morning News. The shooter is then shown getting out of a pickup in front of the store, crouching at store windows, opening the front door, and firing at least 20 times with what police said was a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine. The video shows he then got into the pickup, which drove away. In addition to the three teenagers slain, a 15-year-old was wounded and is hospitalized.

All four teenagers shot were in a taco restaurant just inside the front door, per WFAA. Police said Ivan Noyola, 16, or Rafael Garcia, 17, or both, were targeted. The wounded teenager and Xavier Gonzalez, 14, were bystanders. "All he was going to do was go buy food for the family and come back home," said Gonzalez's uncle. "That was it and he didn’t make it." Crime Stoppers has posted a reward of as much as $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the 14-year-old Acosta. (More multiple shooting stories.)

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