Texas Cheerleaders Shot After Mistakenly Getting In The Wrong Car

Payton Washington and Heather Roth were shot on April 18 after one of the girls accidentally got in the wrong car in a shopping center parking lot.

April 24, 2023
Payton Washington, pictured here in her cheerleading uniform, was shot on April 18, 2023 in Elgin, Texas.

Payton Washington and Heather Roth were shot on April 18 after one of the teens accidentally got in the wrong car in a shopping center parking lot.

Photo by: GoFundMe


Two young Texas women are recovering after being shot while leaving cheerleading practice on April 18, 2023.

At around 12:15 a.m. on April 18, Payton Washington and Heather Roth left cheerleading practice at Woodlands Elite Cheer Co. and stopped at an H-E-B supermarket parking lot in Elgin, Texas, where some of the team members parked their cars.

According to PEOPLE, Roth approached a vehicle that she thought was hers. She started to open the door, then panicked when she saw a man inside and turned to walk back to her friend’s car.

The man inside the car, 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez, Jr., got out of his car and came after the girls. Roth rolled down her window to apologize for the mistake, but Rodriguez allegedly pulled out a gun and began shooting at the young women in the car.

Washington, an 18-year-old high school senior, was seriously injured after suffering gunshot wounds in the leg and back. She was airlifted to the hospital. The Washington Post reported that Heather Roth’s injuries were less severe. A bullet grazed one of her legs, but Roth, a 21-year-old college student, was released from the scene of the shooting.

Lynne Shearer, managing partner of the Woodlands Elite cheer program, told CNN that Washington’s pancreas and diaphragm were wounded in the shooting. Kelan Washington, Payton’s father, revealed that doctors removed her spleen, but he said she was in stable condition at Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas in Austin. He told NBC News, “Payton’s accomplished everything she has with only one lung [from] when she was born. She’s as tough as they come.”

A GoFundMe page was set up by Woodlands Elite Cheer Co. to help with Payton Washington’s medical expenses. On the page, they stated, “Payton was shot twice and badly injured. She is stable in the ICU and will have a long road to recovery. Please consider helping to ease the financial burden to this family of their medical expenses. We ask that you keep our athletes in your prayers at this devastating time.”

Pedro Tello Rodriguez, Jr. has been arrested and charged with deadly conduct, a third-degree felony.

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