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Affidavit reveals more information about Garland shooting, search for 14-year-old suspect

The victim's sister told the detective that she received a message from a fake Instagram account

GARLAND, Texas — Police are still searching for a 14-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting three teenagers at a gas station in Garland, and an arrest affidavit reveals further information about the investigation, including how one of the teens who died was the victim of another shooting in November.

Abel Acosta and his father, who police say was the getaway driver, face murder charges. His father, Richard Acosta Jr., 33, turned himself in to police. Police say Abel is evading arrest and is armed and dangerous.

In surveillance video, the alleged shooter, Abel, could be seen getting out of a white pickup truck and going to the front door of the store where he fired his weapon, police say.

Last week, police said the shooting, which happened Dec. 26 at a Texaco station in Garland, was spurred by a previous disturbance between Abel Acosta and one of the victims inside the convenience store. The affidavit says that in November one of the victims reported to police that they were shot at by another group of teenagers.

A lawyer representing Richard told WFAA Tuesday that he didn't know his son Abel had a gun on him when they went to the convenience store.

However, a newly released affidavit reveals what police believe happened and what happened before the deadly shooting.

The affidavit says that surveillance video allegedly showed Richard in the driver's seat of the Dodge white pickup truck, "just yards from the front door where the suspect can be seen in plain view standing in the front doorway shooting [at] subjects inside the store."

"The driver can be seen in the surveillance video waiting for the shooter to run back to the pickup truck. The shooter is then seen entering the back driver side door of the truck on surveillance footage," the affidavit said.

Another 14-year-old was initially arrested in the investigation on Dec. 27 but was released. The affidavit said that he told detectives that he was aware of what happened. He said he was in a group chat with several people who told them what happened. He "stated he was afraid" of two people and "they had threatened him and others in the past," the affidavit said. Some names were redacted in the affidavit.

The victims

At around 8 p.m. on Dec. 26, detectives arrived on scene where they found the three victims identified as 14-year-old Xavier Gonzalez, 16-year-old Ivan Noyala and 17-year-old Rafael Garcia.

Multiple witnesses were at the scene and were taken to the police station to talk with detectives.

A father of one of the victims told detectives that he heard that Ivan had been shot at the location. The dad gave the officer a physical description of him, which matched one of the victims who was found in the far southeast corner of the building in front of the drink coolers, the affidavit said.

Xavier's family said he was an innocent bystander who was just at the store buying food for the family. Xavier's uncle told detectives that Xavier went to the store in his vehicle and had not returned home. Xavier was found in the dining area of the meat market, the affidavit said.

Rafael was found on the floor on the far west side of the dining area in a hallway that went to the bathrooms.

Victim's sister talks to police

A female who was at the police station told a detective that Rafael was her brother. The detective asked her if she knew of anyone that may have wanted to harm her brother and she said no, the affidavit said.

She said Rafael had been reported as a runaway in March and that he was living with his friend, the affidavit said.

She told the detective that her family was not particularly fond of a person whose name was redacted. She told the detective that he was a "skinny kid that they did not want Rafael to hang around with," the affidavit said. It's unclear who this person is.

She said the last time they spoke with Rafael was on Christmas Eve and he seemed to be in good spirits.

The detective wrote in the affidavit: "I asked if Rafael was gang-affiliated and both sisters stated no, but Rafael liked posting pictures of himself holding or pointing guns on Instagram."

Police department records showed that there was a police report made on Nov. 19 where one of the victims had reported that he and some friends were shot at by another group of teens, the affidavit said. He named one of the teens to the police. The name was redacted in the affidavit.

Social media

The sister sent the detective a photo of Rafael holding and pointing a gun with a green laser, the affidavit said. 

She also sent a second picture of another person wearing dark clothing and a black ski mask, the affidavit said. The person was holding and pointing a silver and black handgun with an extended clip, the affidavit said. Some names were redacted in the affidavit, so it's unclear who the person was.

A few hours later, the sister told the detective that she received a message from a fake Instagram account and sent the detective a screenshot, the affidavit said.

"The message read, 'Yo brotha dead asf,'" the affidavit said.

She forwarded another message which said that Rafael was dead and the response was "what happened who did it" and "its yall [expletive] fault," the affidavit said.

A third and last message from the Instagram account said "N$B5L ima die behind that on y'all [expletive] ain't active like gang that's on llopps." The affidavit said the acronym stands for "Northside blood for life."

The sister told the detective that she believes whoever did this was looking for a person whose name was redacted and was after him.

The detectives then contacted Instagram to verify a phone number connected with the account, the affidavit said. T-Mobile confirmed the user and address. The detective contacted the Garland ISD security department for any student information.

The detective was given information about several students who lived at that address.

The detective identified one of the students through school photos and saw Facebook photos that matched him with the suspect shown in the video shooting into the convenience store.

Anyone who sees Abel Acosta or knows his whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately. 

Garland Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. And in addition, police said Jerry Reynolds, president of Car Pro Radio Network and owner of KPIR, has offered an additional $5,000 – making the total reward $10,000. 

Crime Stoppers tips can be submitted by phone at 972-272-8477 or on the Garland Crime Stoppers website.

Read the full affidavit:


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