Family Calls for Justice at Vigil for 3 Teenagers Killed in Garland

Family and friends offer prayers in remembrance and pleas for the shooter to be arrested in the killing of three teens, ages 14, 16 and 17

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A crowd that included parents, grandparents and friends of three teens gathered Tuesday outside the Garland convenience store where they were killed to offer prayers and a plea for the arrest of the shooter.

Rafael Garcia, 17, Ivan Noyala, 16, and Xavier Gonzalez, 14, died inside the convenience store after someone fired 20 rounds into the store on Sunday.

Supporters lit candles and added flowers and stuffed bears to a growing vigil in the 700 block of West Walnut Street.

A friend of the Gonzalez family who only identified himself by his first name, Kurt, told a crowd of approximately 75 mourners the vigil was for everyone affected.

“We just want justice for all the families involved,” Kurt said. “Ivan, Rafael, Xavier – everybody.”

Erica Gonzalez says her nephew was a bright 9th-grade student on the football team at Garland High School.

She spoke through tears about the last time her family saw Xavier on Sunday night.

“He was texting his girlfriend, she was the last person to hear from him,” Gonzalez said. “He came just to get food and never came back home and we just want justice for him. He was a good kid.”             

Garland police on Tuesday said the driver of the white truck seen in surveillance video turned himself in. Richard Acosta, 33, was arrested Monday and charged with capital murder of multiple persons, Garland police said in a news release. His bond is set at $1,000,000.

Officer Pedro Barineau said a 14-year-old that was initially in custody was released Tuesday after new information he had “intimate knowledge” of the shooting but no evidence currently linked him to the incident.

“We don’t know who the shooter is right now, definitively,” Barineau said. “We are still looking for the shooter. We believe that there very well may be another person that’s out there who pulled the trigger.”

Gonzalez admitted she was troubled with the idea of burying her 14-year-old nephew on Thursday with the possibility of the shooter still not being arrested.

“All we ask is for everyone to speak up, you know as a community, so we can get justice for all three of them,” Gonzalez said.

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