GARLAND, Texas — Garland Police charged a father and his 14-year-old son with capital murder in the murders of three teenagers inside a convenience store the day after Christmas.
Police said the father, 33-year-old Richard Acosta, turned himself in the night after the crime.
But his son, Abel, was “actively evading capture,” as of Wednesday night, according to Garland police.
"He is armed. And he is dangerous. We need the public to step up and turn him in. We need to get him off the street,” said Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau.
Barineau said Richard Acosta drove Abel to a Texaco at 730 West Walnut in Garland around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 26.
Police said surveillance video shows Acosta getting out of a white pickup truck and briefly going inside the store.
The video also shows Acosta walking out of the store, getting back in his truck and circling the parking lot, Barineau said.
“Then Abel gets out of the truck, goes in there and in public opens fire inside the store. Then he runs back to the truck and the truck is seen driving away,” Barineau said.
Police said more than 20 bullets were fired into the store.
Four teenagers at a taco restaurant just inside the front door were shot.
Three of them died.
Police said Abel and his father were both in on it.
“The fact that he drove away quickly - he knew. And that’s the reason why he’s also being charged with capital murder,” Barineau said of Richard Acosta.
Police said Abel had a disagreement with either 16-year old Ivan Noyola or 17-year-old Rafael Garcia, or perhaps both of them.
They said Noyola and Garcia had gone to the store together. Both died at the scene.
A 15-year-old cook who was shot and 14-year-old Xavier Gonzalez were innocent bystanders, police said.
The cook survived.
Xavier did not.
“All he was going to do was go buy food for the family and come back home. That was it and he didn’t make it,” said Rafael Gonzalez, Xavier’s uncle. “He didn’t make it home because somebody made a bad decision.”
At a visitation for Xavier Gonzalez held Wednesday, mourners wore blue and silver in honor of his love for the Dallas Cowboys.
Xavier was wearing an Ezekiel Elliot jersey. He said that was his nephew’s favorite player.
Xavier played football at his Garland ISD school.
Several teammates and classmates stopped by the funeral home, which was less than a mile from the store where Xavier was killed.
Police had originally taken another 14-year-old into custody Monday and called him the shooter, but about 24 hours later they released him.
He has “intimate knowledge” of the shooting and remains a person of interest, police said, but they have since determined he did not pull the trigger.
The case is unlike anything Barineau said he’d seen in an almost two-decade career in law enforcement.
“We have a 14-year-old child who shoots and kills. And a dad who drives him there and drives him away. That’s a problem,” Barineau said.
Rafael Gonzalez said he took his nephew on a hunting trip the day before he died. They spent three hours talking while sitting together in a deer blind.
Xavier had plans to follow in other family members’ footsteps and own his own construction business someday, he said.
He also said Xavier did not know the father or son charged with his murder.
“I’m not here to judge him. God will,” Gonzalez said. “God will take care of him, one way or the other.”