Texas All-Star Cheerleader Accidentally Got In Wrong Car At Grocery Store. So The Passenger Shot Her As She Walked Away, Cops Say.

texas cheerleader shooting grocery store parking lot
Source: GoFundMe; Elgin Police Department

Apr. 19 2023, Published 4:05 p.m. ET

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A Texas high school cheerleader accidentally got into the wrong car in a grocery store parking lot and a passenger in that vehicle shot her, according to officials.

Four cheerleaders were returning from cheer practice in Woodlands on Monday night when someone opened fire, Woodlands Elite Cheer owner Lynne Shearer told KHOU.

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The cheerleaders stopped at a grocery store in Elgin shortly after midnight when one of the cheerleaders, Payton Washington, 18, thought she was getting into her own car and then noticed a man sitting in the passenger seat, KHOU reported.

Washington realized she had the wrong car and apologized to the man, officials said. As she was walking away and trying to return to her own car, the man pulled out a gun and shot at Washington.

Washington and a fellow cheerleader were hit in the process, police said. Washington was airlifted to a hospital and is now listed in critical condition. The other victim, who was grazed in the leg by a bullet, was treated and released at the scene.

The shooter fled the scene, but police worked overnight to find him. He was identified as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr.

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He was arrested and charged with felony deadly conduct, officials said. Police said additional charges could follow.

Shearer said Washington is “literally an icon in the world of all-star cheerleaders” and “she has so many little kids look up to her” around the country, KHOU reported.


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