A Texas dad who drove his 14-year-old son to and from a triple murder didn’t know the kid had a gun, his attorney claimed.
Police said Richard Acosta, 33, was the getaway driver after his son Abel Elias Acosta fired more than 20 shots in a Garland convenience store on Dec. 26, killing three teenagers and injuring a fourth.
Acosta turned himself in to police but his son remains on the loose.
Attorney Heath Harris said Acosta didn’t know Abel “was going to do what he did,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
“Our position is he didn’t do anything to solicit or encourage his son to do this,” Harris said.
Acosta had gone to the store, located at a gas station, to pick up medicine and went inside alone, his attorney told the newspaper. When Acosta got back into his Dodge Ram, his son said he “needed to get something,” the attorney said. The father did hear the gunshots and ducked — but didn’t know his son was the one rattling off the shots, Harris claimed.
Surveillance footage showed the shirtless gunman creep up to the store and peek in the window before entering and opening fire. Acosta’s truck waited near the store, according to cops.
Acosta drove his son home but the teen got into a car and took off, Harris said. It was only once Acosta saw the shooting on TV that he turned himself in, according to the attorney. Evidence will show the kid was bullied in school and had his necklace stolen, the attorney told the newspaper.
Harris didn’t return a phone call from The Post on Friday.
Abel has been on the lam since the shooting and is considered armed and dangerous by the Garland Police Department. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the fugitive’s arrest.
The victims of the shooting were identified as Xavier Gonzalez, 14, Ivan Noyala, 16, and Rafael Garcia, 17. A 15-year-old cook, identified by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth as David Humberto, was shot in the chest but is back home after nine days in the hospital.
His cousin Michelle Dominguez, who managed the store and witnessed the shooting, said she never heard the gunman say a word.
“I was in shock that day,” Dominguez, 17, told the station. “I was crazy that day. I was crying, running.”
The shooter was targeting at least one of the victims, but cops believe Xavier and the cook were bystanders, the Dallas Morning News said in a previous report.
One of the victim’s sisters told cops that she received gang-related messages after the slayings, including an Instagram message saying “yo brotha dead asf,” an arrest affidavit obtained by the paper said.