Texas cheerleader shot after getting in wrong car speaks out as friend remains in critical condition
One of two Texas cheerleaders who were shot after allegedly getting into the wrong vehicle in a carpool lot has spoken out after the incident before a crowd of her peers.
The shooting occurred when a group of four cheerleaders stopped at the carpool lot while traveling back from an out-of-town cheer practice at Woodlands Elite Cheer Co. in Woodlands, Texas. One of the victims, Payton Washington, a Stony Point High School cheerleader, remains in critical condition.
“Nobody deserves anything like this,” one of the injured cheerleaders, 21-year-old Heather Roth, said Tuesday while speaking to a crowd at Woodlands Elite, according to ABC 13.
The 25-year-old suspect, Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., allegedly shot Roth after she accidentally got into his vehicle. Upon realizing it wasn’t her friend’s car, Roth promptly got out and went to the correct vehicle.
Roth said she did not immediately notice a man sitting in the passenger seat at the time.
“As we’re backing up, I see the guy get out of the passenger door, and I roll my window down, and I was trying to apologize to him. And then he… threw his hands up, and he pulled out a gun, and then, he just started shooting at all of us,” Roth said to a group of fellow cheerleaders on Tuesday, as ABC 13 reported.
“Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood,” she recalled.
A total of four girls, including the two shooting victims, were in the vehicle at the time. A bullet struck Roth, who was hospitalized and released.
Elgin Police Department authorities on Tuesday arrested and charged Rodriguez with deadly conduct, but additional charges may be filed.
Washington was airlifted to a local hospital and is recovering in the ICU. A GoFundMe for Washington titled “Payton Washington’s Medical Expenses” describes the shooting as “a senseless and random act of violence.”
“Payton was shot twice and badly injured. She is stable in the ICU and will have a long road to recovery,” the GoFundMe description states. “Please consider helping to ease the financial burden to this family of their medical expenses.”