The man accused of serving as a getaway driver for his teenage son, who allegedly killed three other teens and wounded another at a Texas convenience store in 2021, has been convicted of capital murder in connection with the three deaths.
Richard Acosta Jr. was found guilty Friday and “automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole,” for the deaths of Xavier Gonzalez, 14, Ivan Noyala, 16, and Rafael Garcia, 17, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Authorities said Acosta Jr. “was seen driving” a Dodge Ram with his son to a convenience store on the night of the shooting and was then seen “fleeing” afterward.
But Acosta’s teenage son, who is suspected of gunning down the victims, is nowhere to be found.
Garland police said Acosta’s son Abel Elias Acosta, who was 14 at the time, shot four teenagers, killing three and wounding the fourth, on December 26, 2021.
Abel Acosta remains at large.
“We are only halfway to justice,” Garland police said. “The search continues. We will not stop until Abel Acosta is captured.”
It’s unusual for authorities to release juvenile information related to crimes, “but due to the nature of the offense and potential risk to the public, the court has authorized the release of his information,” Garland police said in 2021.
A $10,000 reward has been offered for tips leading to Abel Acosta’s capture.
“This shooting appears 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,” Garland police said in 2021.
Police showed video of a person wearing shorts but no shirt opening the door to the store and shooting.
“The gun used in this incident was a 40-caliber pistol. It had an extended magazine,” Garland Police Chief Jeff Bryan said. “We know he fired at least 20 rounds because we found the shell casings.”