A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested after police in Texas say he shot at a group of cheerleaders when one of them accidentally got into the wrong car. According to police, two cheerleaders were shot, with one being airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
The Elgin Police Department said the shooting in question took place on Monday night in the parking lot of the H-E-B supermarket.
“Information suggests that an altercation occurred in the parking lot of H-E-B, and multiple shots were fired into a vehicle,” a police rep said on Tuesday. “Two occupants of the vehicle were struck by gun fire. One victim was treated and released on scene. The other sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital by helicopter, where they remain in critical condition.”
In the same press release, police said 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. had been arrested and charged with deadly conduct, a third-degree felony. While police did not initially identify the victims, a report from regional outlet KXAN quoted Woodlands Elite Cheer Company owner Lynn Shearer as confirming that a group of cheerleaders who had carpooled from the Austin area were the ones shot at in the supermarket parking lot.
Per Shearer, the group of four cheerleaders was returning to their separate parked vehicles in Elgin when one of the cheerleaders accidentally tried to enter the wrong car. A separate report from ABC News, meanwhile, cites an Instagram Live update from one of the cheerleaders as revealing that the girl who accidentally got into the wrong vehicle immediately exited and returned to her friend’s car. At that point, the shooter is alleged to have approached the car, ultimately opening fire.
The teen cheerleader who was seriously injured in the shooting has been identified by Shearer as Payton Washington. As highlighted in an Instagram update from the official Woodlands Elite Cheer Company account, a GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for the teen’s medical expenses.
Complex has reached out to the Elgin Police Department and the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company for additional comment. This story may be updated.