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Family holds vigil for teen killed in Garland shooting

Vigil for Garland shooting victims
Pablo Arauz Peña
Several people left flowers at a memorial for 14-year-old Xavier Gonzalez, in front of the Texaco where he was shot and killed.

Xavier Gonzalez, 14, was the youngest of three victims killed in the shooting.

Family, friends and classmates of Xavier Gonzalez gathered for a candlelight vigil on Tuesday for the victims killed in a shooting over the holiday weekend.

Gonzalez, 14, was the youngest of the three teens killed in the shooting at a gas station in Garland on Sunday night. The other victims were Ivan Noyala, 16, and Rafael Garcia, 17. A fourth victim was critically injured and has not been named.

Garland police say Xavier was picking up food for his family and had no connection to the shooter.

The vigil began with a prayer for the victims at the site of the shooting. Flowers and photos of Gonzalez were displayed in a makeshift memorial.

Xavier Gonzalez.
Pablo Arauz Peña
Garland police say Xavier Gonzalez, 14, was at the wrong place at the wrong time when a shooter opened fire in a Garland convenient store.

Xavier's aunt Erika Gonzalez said her nephew was a good kid who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I want him to [be] remembered like the person he was, just a happy kid, just wanted to keep pushing in life and he had a lot of goals," she said. "You know, his uncle owned a construction company and he wanted to be just like him.”

After the prayer, friends and relatives eulogized Gonzalez and made calls for justice.

"He is like a little brother to me that I never got to say goodbye to," said Xavier's cousin Savanah Gonzalez.

The Gonzalez family set up a GoFundMe page to pay for funeral expenses. On the page, the family remembers Xavier as a “hardworking, intelligent and vibrant” young man who “never failed to make anyone around him smile or laugh.”

Garland police say 33-year-old Richard Acosta Jr. was arrested after turning himself in on Monday. He is believed to be the driver of a white pick-up truck that was seen fleeing the scene with the shooter.

Acosta is at the Garland Detention Center. He was charged with capital murder and his bond is set at $1 million.

Police previously arrested a 14-year-old who they suspected was the shooter, but he has been released and isn't being charged. They say he has intimate knowledge of the shooting and is cooperating.

Police believe this attack was retaliation on an individual from a previous disturbance and was a targeted attack.

The investigation is ongoing.

Got a tip? Email Pablo Arauz Peña at

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the breaking news reporter for KERA News.