In what will come across as a really startling development, two cheerleaders in Texas have been killed.
They were shot after one of them mistakenly got into the wrong car in a parking lot after practice, authorities said.
Officers responding just after midnight on Tuesday, April 18, to an H-E-B supermarket parking lot found two people in a vehicle who’d been struck by bullets, police said, citing preliminary reports.
One of the victims was treated and released at the scene Tuesday morning, April 18, and the second cheerleader was helicoptered to a hospital in critical condition, according to Elgin police.
Authorities arrested Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, the man they said shot the two teens. He 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.
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.”
Fee Mulkey said she was on the way to visit Payton Washington in the hospital