A 25-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly shooting two cheerleaders in Elgin, Texas this week after they accidentally got in his car– and one of those teens is recovering in the hospital after being seriously injured.
Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. is suspected of shooting the cheerleaders in a supermarket parking lot around midnight on Tuesday after one of the teens accidentally got into his car, ABC 13 reported.
Cheerleader Heather Roth, who spoke to her teammates during a vigil, said she got out of her friend’s car in the H-E-B parking lot and opened the door to a vehicle she believed was hers. The cheerleader said she panicked at first when she saw the man, thinking there’s a stranger in her car. She then ran back to her friend’s car.
When she saw the stranger approach their vehicle, Heather said she rolled down the window to apologize for the mistake. That’s when the man allegedly pulled out a gun and started shooting. According to the H-E-B manager, the gunman “shot at the vehicle multiple times” before fleeing the area.
Police said Roth sustained a graze wound. She was treated and released on the scene. Her teammate, Payton Washington, who was shot in the leg and the back, was flown to a hospital in critical condition.
“Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood,” Roth said according to ABC 13.
There were also two other cheerleaders among the group who were not injured, the New York Post reported. The teens were traveling about 360-miles round-trip three times a week to get to the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company in Oak Ridge for practice. They were using the Elgin H-E-B parking lot as a carpool lot for the trip.
Rodriguez is charged with deadly conduct.
On Wednesday, Washington’s father said she was recovering in the intensive care unit. Born with one lung, he described his daughter as “tough as they come.”