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Father Of Fugitive Teen Accused Of Fatal Mass Shooting Indicted On Capital Murder Charge

Garland, TX – The father of a 14-year-old boy wanted for murdering three teens and wounding a fourth at a gas station late last year has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

Richard Acosta, 33, was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on Feb. 17, KDFW reported.

His 14-year-old son, Abel Elias Acosta, has been on the run since the fatal Dec. 26, 2021 shooting at the Garland Texaco station, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Prosecutors said Richard Acosta drove Abel Acosta to the gas station and went inside alone.

Abel Acosta later walked up to the front door of the business by himself and allegedly fired into the store at least 20 times, hitting four people, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Police said the teen then jumped into a pickup truck being driven by his father and fled the scene.

Xavier Gonzalez, 14, Ivan Noyala, 16, and Rafael Garcia, 17, were all killed in the attack, The Dallas Morning News reported.

A 15-year-old employee who had just started working at the business was wounded, but survived.

Police identified Richard Acosta using security footage from the scene and arrested him within several days of the fatal shooting, KDFW reported.

His attorney, Heath Harris, said his client had no idea Abel Acosta was planning to open fire inside the store and that they hope he will show up to his father’s court proceedings to help clear his name, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Richard Acosta faces a maximum of life without parole or the death penalty if he is convicted.

Harris also expressed frustration that Richard Acosta’s case was presented to the grand jury without his knowledge, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“We would have liked to have been given the opportunity to present at the grand jury rather than them backdooring it,” the attorney said.

Richard Acosta’s bond has been set at $3 million, according to KRLD.

A reward for information leading to Abel Acosta’s arrest was increased to $10,000 last week, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Investigators said they have received tips that the teen has left the area and could be in Mexico or West Texas.

The U.S. Marshals have also joined in the investigation, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Police said they intend to pursue a capital murder charge against Abel Acosta once he is apprehended.

Juveniles who were at least 14 years old at the time of their crime can be charged as adults in Texas if approved by a juvenile court judge, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Prosecutors have not yet specified whether or not they intend to pursue the case against Abel Acosta in adult court.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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