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VIDEO: 14-Year-Old Guns Down 3 Teens Inside Texas Gas Station

Garland, TX – Recently-released security footage captured the moment when a 14-year-old boy stormed into a Texaco gas station and wildly fired off at least 20 rounds in 2021, killing three teens and wounding a fourth (video below).

The deadly attack occurred at the Garland Texaco gas station on Dec. 26, 2021.

Previously released security footage from outside the business showed the suspect, 14-year-old Abel Acosta, jumping out of a pickup truck and running towards the front of the building.

The teen then crouched down and quickly made his way past the large windows before he threw the front door open.

Footage from inside the store was released to the public for the first time last week during the capital murder trial for Abel Acosta’s father, Richard Acosta, KDFW reported.

The clip showed the shirtless 14-year-old gunman crossing the threshold of the business and opening fire on the teens inside.

Investigators said they believe Abel Acosta was targeting 16-year-old Ivan Noyala and 17-year-old Rafael Garcia for an earlier gun-related incident, KDFW reported.

Noyala and Garcia were standing at the counter waiting for their taco order inside the store when they were shot.

Xavier Gonzalez, 14, was sitting in a chair, waiting for his family’s food order when the barrage of gunfire began, KDFW reported.

The video showed Gonzalez, who police said was an innocent bystander, as he hit the ground and tried to take cover beneath his chair.

Abel Acosta shot him 10 times in the back at point-blank range, KXAS reported.

“Seeing him be attacked by Abel, especially right in front of him, just standing on him and shooting, was the hardest,” the victim’s aunt, Brenda Salinas, told the news outlet.

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

“It takes nine seconds for him to shoot 20 rounds. Shooting and killing those three kids and injuring another,” prosecutors said during Richard Acosta’s trial, according to KDFW.

Gonzalez’s uncle, Rafael Gonzalez, told the jury that Abel Acosta’s actions were cruel and ruthless.

“It’s something that only somebody that doesn’t have a heart — it’s a cold-hearted killer — would do. Because it’s one thing to shoot somebody from far away. It’s another thing to see him hiding, sneak behind him and shoot him in the back,” he said, according to KDFW.

He said some family members had to leave the courtroom while the footage was being played.

“They were coming out of the courtroom crying because they couldn’t watch it,” Rafael Gonzalez said.

Abel Acosta ran out of the store and jumped into his father’s waiting pickup truck in the wake of the shooting.

His whereabouts are still unknown.

A jury deliberated for just over three hours on Feb. 10 before convicting 34-year-old Richard Acosta of capital murder in the triple homicide, even though he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger that night, KDFW reported.

“This was a long, emotional week for the families and a taxing one for members of the Garland Police Department involved in this case,” the Garland Police Department said in a press release on Friday. “We are only halfway to justice. The search continues. We will not stop until Abel Acosta is captured.”

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the teen’s arrest.

“We are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of Abel Acosta to contact the Garland Police Department,” the agency said.

The jury determined Richard Acosta helped his son “case” the Texaco station where the shooting occurred and that he was the one who drove him to and from the scene, KDFW reported.

Richard Acosta claimed he had no idea what his son had planned or what had gone on inside the store because he was too busy listening to a Dallas Cowboys game on the radio out in his vehicle.

The father of the 14-year-old gunman testified that he went to the store that night with the sole purpose of buying two packages of Tylenol for his wife, KDFW reported.

As he climbed back into his truck after making the purchase, Richard Acosta said his son asked him about two teens who had walked into the store.

Investigators said those two individuals were Noyala and Garcia.

Richard Acosta testified that he told his son the boys hadn’t said anything to him, KDFW reported.

He said he had also never seen the teens before and didn’t know their names.

According to Richard Acosta, Abel Acosta told him the boys knew who had stolen a necklace from him and that he wanted to go talk to them, KDFW reported.

“I thought he was going to ask them a question, the whereabouts of his necklace,” the father claimed. “Nothing that alarmed me.”

He said he was circling the truck around the gas pumps when Abel Acosta suddenly tore off his shirt and tried to jump out of the vehicle, KDFW reported.

Richard Acosta said he crashed into another vehicle due to the chaos.

The truck he collided with belonged to Noyala’s uncle, who was parked outside the store waiting for Noyala and Garcia while they ran in to buy some tacos, KDFW reported.

Richard Acosta said he told his son to hurry up to go talk to the teens and testified he had no idea the boy was carrying a gun when he went into the store.

He said that when the gunfire erupted, he ducked down in his truck to take cover, KDFW reported.

Richard Acosta testified that his son jumped into the back seat of the truck a moment later and told him to drive away.

“He says, ‘Go! Get out! Somebody is shooting! Get me out of here,’” Richard Acosta told the jury.

Richard Acosta said his son seemed agitated and scared when he tried to ask him about what happened, KDFW reported.

He also claimed he never saw Abel Acosta with a gun.

The teen subsequently disappeared and his father has maintained he has no idea where he might be, KDFW reported.

“We don’t know if he’s alive. Nobody knows if he’s even breathing or anything,” Richard Acosta testified. “Nobody knows.”

He said he feels terribly for the victims and their families.

“It is the most horrible thing. I can’t imagine how those families feel,” Richard Acosta said. “We all lost a son that day. I will never get to see my son again. He’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison.”

Richard Acosta’s defense team said they plan to appeal the verdict, KDFW reported.

Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot issued a statement in the wake of the verdict calling the incident “an indefensible crime.”

“Three young lives were lost, and today justice has been done by holding Richard Acosta accountable for his involvement,” Creuzot wrote. “However, there is still work to be done. We pray for the apprehension of Abel Acosta in the hopes of him being brought back to Dallas County so he too can answer for his horrifying actions caught on surveillance video on the night of December 26, 2021.”

Investigators said they have received tips Abel Acosta left the Garland area and could be in Mexico or West Texas, The Dallas Morning News previously reported.

The U.S. Marshals have also joined in the investigation.

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.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content:

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.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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