According to police, on Dec. 26, 2021, Richard Acosta Jr.’s son, Abel Acosta, who was 14 at the time, allegedly fatally shot the three underage teenagers and wounded another at a convenience store. The deceased victims were later identified by KTVT-TV as Xavier Gonzalez, 14, Ivan Noyala, 16, and Rafael Garcia, 17. The injured juvenile, who was not identified, was reportedly 15 years old at the time.
Richard Acosta went to the store with his son in a Dodge Ram and was seen fleeing with him after the shooting, and he turned himself in the next day, Dec. 27, 2021, police said.
A 14-year-old male was reportedly taken into custody around the same time because he had "intimate knowledge of the shooting." He was later released and not charged, according to police.
Police said the shooting seemed 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."
Acosta reportedly told the jury he didn’t have any prior knowledge of the shooting, but Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot argued that an innocent person wouldn’t speed away from the shooting.
According to KTVT, the jury deliberated for several hours before returning the verdict, and Acosta was emotionless as it was read. Capital murder is reportedly punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty, but prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty for Acosta.
Police are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information regarding Abel Acosta’s whereabouts.