Two Cheerleaders Shot After One Opened Car Door She Mistook as Her Own

by Xara Aziz
Courtesy: Baylor University

A Texas man has been arrested and charged with deadly conduct with a firearm, a third-degree felony after he shot two teenage cheerleaders who mistakenly thought the suspect’s vehicle was their own in a supermarket parking lot.

On Tuesday, Elgin Police Department confirmed that the suspect, 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., is being held on a $500,000 bond. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.

Police documents indicate that one of the girls, Heather Roth, had exited a friend’s car and opened the door to another vehicle she thought was her own when she found a man sitting in the passenger seat. She proceeded to apologize to the man, but he exited the vehicle and started shooting at her and her friends.

“He just threw his hands up, and then he pulled out a gun and he just started shooting at all of us,” she said as she fought back tears at a prayer vigil at her cheerleader team’s gym.

Roth was with another cheerleader named Payton Washington and two others who fled the scene in their car, Lynne Shearer, managing partner of the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company, told CNN.

“As soon as they saw the gun, they said go and they drove and they went about two miles down the road. And that’s when they realized that Payton was seriously hurt and they pulled over once they realized that guy wasn’t following them because Payton was … throwing up blood at that point. So, they … that’s when they called 911.”

Washington was born with only one lung and “has surpassed many obstacles to rise to the very top of her sport,” Shearer added. She was shot twice and is in stable condition in ICU at a local hospital. She suffered a ruptured spleen, which was removed, in addition to damage to her pancreas a diaphragm. A GoFundMe account was created to assist the victim with medical expenses.

“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,” Shearer said. “Once they are sure there is no infection, they will go back in and finish up any issues and close her up.”

Roth also suffered from a bullet wound but was treated and released at the scene. Both victims are expected to make a full recovery.

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