Texas police release photo, ID of 14-year-old suspect wanted in convenience store triple homicide

Texas police release photo, ID of 14-year-old suspect wanted in convenience store triple homicide
·3 min read

Police in Texas named a 14-year-old boy as a suspect in the fatal shooting of three teens earlier this week at a convenience store, warning that he is "armed and dangerous" as he evades capture.

Abel Elias Acosta has been identified as the suspected shooter in Sunday night's triple-slaying of Latino boys ranging in ages from 14 to 17, Garland police said in a statement Wednesday. A 15-year-old boy was also wounded, police said.

Police took the unusual step of releasing a minor's identity and photo "due to the nature of the offense and potential risk to the public," saying in the statement that a court authorized the release of his information.

The 14-year-old suspect is "facing the charge of Capital Murder for the shooting death of the three teenagers," police said.

He is described by police as light-skinned with dark hair and brown eyes, standing at 5-feet-5 inches tall and weighing about 125 pounds.

Detectives believe the suspected shooter "is actively evading capture" and is considered "armed and dangerous."

Richard Acosta Jr., 33, turned himself in to police Monday and faces a charge of capital murder, police said Tuesday. Acosta Jr. is the father of the suspected shooter, police said Wednesday.

Acosta Jr. is suspected of driving the gunman to and from the shooting and faces a charge of capital murder.

The teen suspect fired more than 20 rounds into the convenience store northeast of Dallas at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Xavier Gonzalez, 14; Ivan Noyala, 16; and Rafael Garcia, 17, were killed, and a 15-year-old boy was wounded.

Police said Monday that a 14-year-old had been arrested on an outstanding warrant and described him as the suspected shooter, but on Tuesday they said instead that the person has “intimate knowledge of the shooting” and is cooperating.

“We believe that the shooter is still out there,” Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said.

The 14-year-old has been released to his family and has not been charged, police said. Barineau said he is considered a person of interest.

Security video showed a male with no shirt and a surgical mask get out of a white truck, open a door to the store and shoot what police have said was a .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine.

The shooting “appears to be in retaliation from a previous disturbance, and was believed to be a targeted attack on one or more of the persons inside the store,” police said Tuesday.

Acosta Jr., of Garland, was being held in lieu of $1 million bail Tuesday night, police said. It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

Friends and family called for justice at a vigil Tuesday, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

Erica Gonzalez said her nephew Xavier was a bright ninth grader on the high school football team and “a good kid.”

“All we ask is for everyone to speak up, you know, as a community, so we can get justice for all three of them,” Gonzalez said, the station reported.

Police ask anyone with information to provide tips, which can be made anonymously, to Garland Crime Stoppers at 972-272-8477. A reward of up to $5,000 is available for information that leads to the suspected shooter's apprehension.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting