Cheerleaders shot after one ‘got into wrong car’ outside supermarket
A “role model” cheerleader born with only one lung has had part of her spleen removed after being shot in another apparent case of somebody being shot for being in the wrong place in the US.
Payton Washington, 18, was shot in the leg and back in a supermarket car park in Texas on Monday while her teammate Heather Roth was also hurt in the same incident, the team’s owner Lynne Shearer said.
The high school students were on their way home from practice, Ms Shearer, who owns Woodlands Elite Cheer, told TV station KXAN of nearby Austin.
Ms Roth accidentally tried to get into the wrong car, Ms Shearer said. That’s when, she added, a “guy got out and they saw that he had a gun.
“And so they tried to speed off and he shot his gun, like five times or so into the car.”
Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr, 25, was arrested on suspicion of being involved in deadly conduct, and could be jailed for up to 10 years if convicted.
Elgin police said in a statement: “Information suggests that an altercation occurred in the parking lot, and multiple shots were fired into a vehicle.”
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A bullet grazed Ms Roth, who was treated at the scene, police said, outside the N-E-B supermarket, where members of the team had stopped to change vehicles for the ride home.
Ms Roth said she got out of her friend’s car and into a car she thought was hers, but there was a stranger in the passenger seat, KTRK-TV said.
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She said she panicked and got back into her friend’s car, but the man got out of his vehicle and approached.
She said she tried to apologise through her friend’s car window, but the man threw up his hands, pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Ms Roth said: “Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood.”
Ms Washington, who was born with one lung, was flown to hospital in critical condition where doctors removed part of her spleen, KTRK-TV reported.
The young woman is a star of the team and “a huge face in the all-star cheerleading world,” Ms Shearer said.
“She’s a mentor and role model to so many kids in this industry. She’s an amazing athlete, amazing kid,” she added.
The Woodlands team was rehearsing for this weekend’s Cheerleading Worlds in Orlando.
It’s the latest high-profile US shooting where victims went to the wrong addresses.
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Kaylin Gillis, 20, was shot and killed when the car she and her friends were driving in made a wrong turn while looking for a friend’s house in New York state on Saturday.
Ralph Yarl, 18, was shot and wounded after going to the wrong Kansas City home to pick up his younger brothers last Thursday.