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Texas Cheerleader Payton Washington Shot After Car Mix-Up

Cheerleader Payton
Source: KCRG

One of the athletes apparently tried to get into the wrong car after practice, resulting to the shooting of two members of an elite competitive cheering squad in Oak Ridge on Tuesday morning. The four teenagers would spend three hours a week traveling from Round Rock to Oak Ridge to train at Woodlands Elite Cheer Company. The roughly 360-mile round trip began and ended at the Elgin H-E-B’s parking lot.

Heather Roth, a cheerleader, said that she stepped out of a friend’s car in the H-E-B parking lot at around midnight and unlocked the door of a vehicle she thought was her own.

According to Roth, the woman panicked when she saw a guy seated in the passenger seat and jumped back into her friend’s car, convinced that a stranger was in hers.

She claims she rolled down the window to apologize to the man when she saw him walking up to their car, thinking it was hers. According to Roth, the guy eventually put up his hands, retrieved a firearm, and began firing. ABC13’s sources in Bastrop County have confirmed the witness’s statements. The manager at H-E-B claims in an affidavit that he saw the shooter “shoot at the vehicle multiple times” before he ran away.

Roth was treated for a graze wound and discharged from the hospital, while Payton Washington was shot in the leg and back, according to the police. Washington was in serious condition and airlifted to a neighboring hospital. “Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood,” Roth explained. A coach for Washington, an upcoming athlete for Baylor’s Acrobatic and Tumbling team, stated she had many organs damaged and her spleen removed during an Instagram live broadcast on Tuesday night. This week, she will have many more surgeries.

According to Lynne Shearer, co-owner of Woodlands Elite Cheer Company, the senior from Round Rock ISD had been competing despite only having one lung.

What do the teammates have to say?

Heather Roth, one of four teammates switching cars in the parking lot after practise, told KTRK-TV that she stepped out of her friend’s car and into the one she believed was hers, only to see a stranger sitting in the passenger seat. She said that she panicked and tried to re-enter her friend’s car, but the man exited his own vehicle and approached. According to her account, she tried to apologise to the man via her friend’s vehicle window, but he threw up his hands, drew his revolver, and started shooting.

According to the police report, Roth was shot and treated at the scene. Payton Washington, 18, was shot in the back and leg while playing on the same squad.

Texas Cheerleader Payton Washington Shot After Car Mix-Up

Source: KCRG

“Payton opens the door, and she starts throwing up blood,” Roth explained.

The critically injured Washington was airlifted to the hospital. KTRK-TV stated that a portion of Washington’s spleen had to be removed by doctors.

A witness told authorities that the gunman ran away from the area after the incident.

Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal lethal conduct. There is no mention of an attorney representing him in the online court documents.

What did Lester say to the police?

Lester told the police that he grabbed his Smith & Wesson because he thought someone was breaking into his house.The man pulled out a 32 calibre handgun and started shooting at Yarl. According to the criminal complaint, the 84-year-old told police that “it was the last thing he wanted to do, but he was’scared to death'” due to the teenager’s stature and his own age and incapacity to protect himself. Yarl, who was shot in the head and arm and is now recovering, told authorities that he made no attempt to open the door before being shot.

A “Black male around 6 feet tall,” in Lester’s estimation, was who Yarl was. They say Yarl is 5-feet-eight and about 140 pounds, according to his relatives.

Lester stands up to life in prison if found guilty of both of the felony charges against him, which include first-degree assault. There was “a racial component to the case,” as stated by Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson, and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (D) emphasized that Yarl was shot “because he was existing while Black.”

Read Also: Former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan died at 92

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