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Texas Man Shoots 2 Cheerleaders Who Mistakenly Walked Up To His Car In Grocery Store Parking Lot

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Apr. 19 2023, Published 5:00 p.m. ET

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A Texas man shot two cheerleaders after a teenager mistook his car for their own in a grocery store parking lot, RadarOnline.com has learned. The disturbing scene unfolded shortly after midnight on Tuesday at the H-E-B grocery store in Elgin, just outside of Austin, Texas.

Heather Roth and Payton Washington were among four competitive cheerleaders who used the grocery store's location as a carpool lot. The group routinely traveled from the H-E-B on their 260-mile roundtrip drive to north Houston for practice at their competitive cheer gym, Woodlands Elite.

Roth suffered a graze gunshot wound. Washington was flown via helicopter to a nearby hospital, where she remains in ICU after suffering organ damage.

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Roth told local news ABC 13 about the horrifying mistake that changed the lives of the four young girls.

According to Roth, the group arrived at the H-E-B, and upon getting out of her friend's car, she approached the vehicle of suspect Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, which she believed to be her own.

Roth said she opened the door and saw a man in the passenger seat. Initially, the teen panicked to see the unknown man and got back in her friend's vehicle.

Upon doing so, the suspect allegedly got out of the car and approached the cheerleader's vehicle.

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Source: Elgin Police Department
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Roth claimed that when the suspect approached their vehicle, she rolled down the window to apologize for her mistake, but before she could say sorry, he allegedly began firing.

Roth suffered a graze wound and was treated at the scene, but Washington, who planned to attend Baylor University as a student-athlete, suffered more extensive wounds to her back and leg.

"Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood," Roth said of her teammate after they were shot.

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Washington, who was born with only one lung, was rushed to a nearby hospital for surgery. The teenager's spleen was removed and she is expected to undergo more surgeries for her injuries.

In the midst of the chaos, the suspect allegedly fled the scene.

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According to court documents, Elgin police arrested Rodriguez Jr. at his home. He was charged with deadly conduct, a third-degree felony, although additional charges could be brought later.

Police said that they obtained footage from the grocery store's parking lot surveillance cameras that captured the incident unfold; however, they have yet to release that footage to the public.

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