Whittier man charged with fatally shooting estranged wife in front of son at Kohl’s

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Prosecutors have charged a man with murder in the shooting of his estranged wife inside a department store in Whittier in front of their 8-year-son.

Enrique Acosta is shown in a photo released by the Whittier Police Department on Dec. 23, 2020.
Enrique Acosta is shown in a photo released by the Whittier Police Department on Dec. 23, 2020.

In addition to the murder of 46-year-old Yvonne Acosta, Enrique Acosta faces one count each of the following charges, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office: child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death; violation of court order, domestic violence with prior conviction; possession of a firearm by a felon; and hit-and-run resulting in property damage. The DA’s Office also filed a special allegation of personal use of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

If convicted as charged, the 41-year-old Whittier man could be sentenced to 42 years and eight months to life in state prison.

An argument between Acosta and his estranged wife, identified by family members in a GoFundMe page as Yvonne Rodriguez, took place inside a Kohl’s store in the Whittwood Town Center about 5:30 p.m Dec. 22.

Acosta allegedly shot and killed the woman in the presence of their son. He then fled in has car, crashing into Rodriguez’s car that was parked nearby, the DA’s Office said.

Whittier police said they responded to the scene to find Acosta gone. Investigators later identified him as a suspect and arrested him in the Barstow area.

L.A. County inmate records show he was booked into jail the day after the shooting and that he remains in jail on $3.1 million bail. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

According to a GoFundMe message by Albert Mendoza, who identified himself as the victim’s nephew, Acosta killed Rodriguez “after years of domestic abuse, physical and mental.”

“Unfortunately, her son witnessed the entire dispute between his mother and father at the department store,” the post said.

Most of the money will go toward Rodriguez’s funeral and the rest will be spent to help her 8-year-old son and 22-year-old daughter. The family is also seeking emergency counseling for the boy, Mendoza said.

He described the victim as an amazing mother, aunt, godmother, daughter, sister and friend to many.

Yvonne Rodriguez, right, is seen in an undated photo shared on a GoFundMe page on Dec. 23, 2020.
Yvonne Rodriguez, right, is seen in an undated photo shared on a GoFundMe page on Dec. 23, 2020.

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