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Garland police identify teenage suspect in Sunday's fatal gas station shooting

Vigil for Garland shooting victims
Pablo Arauz Peña
Family, friends and classmates of Xavier Gonzalez held a candlelight vigil for the victims of a shooting that left three teens dead at a gas station in Garland.

Garland police say they've identified the shooter in this weekend's gas station killings, but they haven't found him yet.

Abel Elias Acosta, a 14-year-old, faces a charge of capital murder. Police believe he was the shooter who killed three teenagers and injured another in a Texaco gas station store on Sunday.

In a press release, Garland police said they do not usually identify minors suspected of crimes, but in this case, "due to the nature of the offense and potential risk to the public, the court has authorized the release of his information." Acosta is considered armed and dangerous.

The shooting happened Sunday night in Garland and was captured on surveillance video, the Garland Police Department said. According to police, a suspect exited a white pickup truck, went inside the store and opened fire. The surveillance video shows him sneaking up to the convenience store door, opening it, then repeatedly firing what police say is a 40 caliber pistol. They recovered 20 rounds.

Police have also arrested Acosta's father on a capital murder charge. Richard Acosta Jr., 33, turned himself in on Monday, police say. They believe he drove the truck.

Police originally arrested another 14-year-old who has not been identified, but they determined he was not the shooter. He remains a person of interest in the investigation, police say.

The dead have been identified as 14-year-old Xavier Gonzalez, 16-year-old Ivan Noyala and 17-year-old Rafael Garcia. The injured teen that remains in the hospital has not yet been named.

Gonzalez's family, friends and classmates gathered for a vigil on Tuesday to honor his life.

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Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.