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Two Texas cheerleaders shot after getting into wrong car in parking lot

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(ELGIN, Texas) — Two Texas cheerleaders were shot after one of them said they had mistakenly got into the wrong car in a parking lot after practice, authorities said.


One of the victims was treated and released at the scene Tuesday morning and the second cheerleader was helicoptered to a hospital in critical condition, according to Elgin police.

Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, has been charged with deadly conduct, a third-degree felony, police said. Rodriguez allegedly fled the scene after the shooting and was arrested at his home, according to court documents.

Heather Roth, a cheerleader with the Woodlands Elite Cheer Co., said on Instagram Live that she and three other cheerleaders had finished practice when they went to a carpool lot just after midnight Tuesday.

Roth said she got out of her friend’s car and opened the door to a car she thought was her own, but a man was in the passenger seat. She said she got out of the car and back into her friend’s car.

When the man approached their vehicle, Roth said she rolled down the window to apologize, and the man started shooting.

Elgin is about 25 miles east of Austin.

One of the injured cheerleaders, Payton Washington, has been accepted to Baylor University and its acrobatics ad tumbling team.

“Payton is a strong young lady; if you know her, you know that about her. I have no doubt she’s going to get through this,” Fee Mulkey, Baylor’s acrobatics and tumbling coach, said in a statement released by the university. “She’s an amazing athlete but a better human, and that’s why she’s a part of our Baylor family. My prayers are with Payton and her teammates that were involved in last night’s tragic event, I know mental wounds also leave scars. We want to lift up the athletes and their families during this difficult time. We love Payton and we wish her well as she recovers.”

Mulkey said she was on the way to visit Washington in the hospital.

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