All-star cheerleaders shot in grocery store parking lot after accidentally getting into the wrong car

Two all-star cheerleaders were shot after they allegedly attempted to get into the wrong vehicle late Monday night in a grocery store parking lot after practice.

Payton Washington, 18, along with three other all-star cheerleaders were returning home from practice at Woodlands Elite Cheer Co. in Oak Ridge, Texas when the incident occurred.

The cheerleaders had left their vehicles at the H-E-B in Elgin, and when they returned to pick them up one of the cheerleaders accidentally got into the wrong car, per Fox 7 Austin. She realized her mistake and immediately ran away from the vehicle.

A man who was in the passenger seat of the other vehicle approached the teenagers, drew a weapon, and fired at their car several times, according to KTRK.

Washington, as well as Heather Roth, were injured in the shooting. Roth was treated at the scene while Washington had to be airlifted to a nearby ICU.


Reports indicate that once the group of teenagers arrived at the parking lot, Roth exited her friend’s car and went into what she believed was hers.

She noticed a man sitting in the passenger’s seat so she panicked and went back to her friend’s car.

Roth saw the man approach their vehicle so she rolled down her window and began to apologize. That’s when he threw up his hands, took out a gun, and began shooting at their car.

Roth suffered a graze wound and was able to be treated at the scene, but Washington was shot in the leg and back, according to officers.

“Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood,” Roth said.

As of Wednesday, Washington is in stable condition, though she remains in the ICU. Despite a ruptured spleen which had to be removed and damage to her pancreas and diaphragm, she is “doing well”.

“Her stomach is not closed up yet and they are keeping her on heavy antibiotics for at least 48 hours to hopefully fight off infection,” Woodlands Elite Cheer Owner Lynne Shearer said. “Once they are sure there is no infection, they will go back in and finish up any issues and close her up.”

Police identified the suspect as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, and charged him with deadly conduct.

While family and friends have no doubt Washington will recover, it will be a long road for the teenager.

“She literally was born with one lung, so she from the very beginning as a baby, she wasn’t even expected to survive, let alone, excel in athletics, so she’s surpassed a lot of things already,” Shearer said.

There have been way too many instances where people, especially young people, have accidentally gone to the wrong place and they were shot! Guns are not the answer. Whatever happened to talking?