One of the cheerleaders was flown to the hospital in critical condition. She is currently in ICU. The other cheerleader was grazed by a bullet.
ELGIN, Texas — A man was arrested Tuesday after an early morning shooting in an HEB parking lot injured two Texas cheerleaders.
Elgin police were called to the HEB on 1080 E. US 290 — which is about a 30-minute drive from Austin — after shots were fired. While police were rushing to the scene, they said they received another call about someone being shot 5 minutes away from the grocery store.
Police were able to determine that these two incidents were connected. They said an altercation happened in the parking lot of the HEB and multiple shots were fired into a vehicle.
Police did not say what led to the altercation but one of the victims told KHOU 11 she thought she was getting into her own car when she noticed a man in the passenger seat. She said she tried to apologize but the man pulled out a gun and started shooting.
Two people were hit. One of the victims had to be flown to the hospital where they were listed in critical condition, police said. The other victim was treated at the scene and released.
During an investigation, police identified the gunman as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. He was taken into custody for deadly conduct, a third-degree felony.
Police said this is an active investigation and additional charges could be filed.
Who are the victims
According to Lynne Shearer, the owner of the Woodlands Elite Cheer Co., the victims are two cheerleaders who use her gym to train.
Shearer said four cheerleaders were leaving The Woodlands area to head back to their carpool meeting spot in Elgin when they got into an altercation with Rodriguez.
The owner said the victim in critical condition is Payton Washington, 18. Washington is a senior at a high school in Round Rock, Texas and has been described as an icon and elite superstar.
“She’s really a huge face in the all-star cheerleading world,” Shearer said. “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…”
Washington is set to join Baylor University’s acrobatics and tumbling team later this year on a scholarship. Amazingly, Washington has accomplished all of these athletic achievements having been born with just one lung.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Washington to help her family with medical expenses.
The other victim was grazed in the leg by a bullet.