Payton Washington

Texas Cheerleader in ICU, Shot After Accidentally Getting in Wrong Car at Grocery Store Parking Lot

A high school cheerleader is in hospital after a man shot her at a Texas grocery store parking lot Monday after she accidentally got into the wrong car, police say.

According to the owner of Woodlands Elite Cheer, Lynne Shearer, four cheerleaders from her gym were returning from cheer practice in Woodlands Monday night, when someone opened fire.

The cheerleaders stopped at an HEB grocery store off 1080 E. US 290 shortly after midnight. KHOU reports that an altercation broke out after one of the cheerleaders, identified as Baylor University high school recruit, Payton Washington, thought she was getting into her own car, then noticed a man in the passenger seat.

Washington said she apologized to him when she realized she had the wrong car. The man pulled out a firearm and shot at Washington as she walked away and tried to return to her own car. Two people were hit in the process, including Washington and a fellow cheerleader.

Washington was airlifted and taken to a hospital and is now listed in critical condition. The other victim was grazed in the leg with a bullet treated and released at the scene.

Police say the shooter has been identified as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. He was arrested and charged with felony deadly conduct.

“It was a harrowing night for all four of those girls,” Shearer said, according to Fox 7.

“She’s [Washingto] really a huge face in the all-star cheerleading world,” Shearer continued. “She’s a mentor and role model to so many kids in this industry. She’s an amazing athlete, amazing kid, so everybody knows her and everybody’s praying for her.”

“She’s literally an icon in the world of all-star cheerleaders. I mean, definitely at our gym, but literally all around the country she has so many little kids look up to her.”

Shearer said Washington was scheduled to compete in an All-Star Cheerleading competition before the shooting happened.

“I don’t know what we’re going to put on the floor, but we will be there, and we will definitely all be competing for her,” Shearer said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family with medical and related expenses.

Police said the suspect fled the scene after the shooting, but police worked overnight to find him. Additional charges could follow, police said.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Payton Washington/Facebook]