Texas Cheerleaders Shot For Accidentally Opening The Wrong Car Door

Two Texas Cheerleaders were shot by a 25-year-old man after they mistook his car for a friend's and accidentally opened his car door.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

guns airports

Texas police have arrested a 25-year-old man for shooting two cheerleaders after one accidentally got into the wrong car. Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. is being held at the Elgin Police Department. Officers found the victims after responding to a call from an H-E-B supermarket parking. One girl was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The other teenager was treated at the scene, CNN reports.

Speaking during a live-streamed vigil, Heather Roth, the girl with minor injuries, detailed the ordeal. She exited a friend’s vehicle and opened the door to a car she thought was hers, only to discover a man in the passenger seat. Startled, she left and got back inside the first car. That’s when the man left his vehicle and approached the Texas cheerleaders.

Before Roth could apologize for the mishap, he drew his firearm. “I see the guy get out of the passenger door,” Roth tearfully explained. “I rolled my window down, and I was trying to apologize to him.” But he opened fire before she could get a word out. “He just threw his hands up, pulled out a gun, and started shooting at all of us,” she said on behalf of the Texas cheerleaders.

Lynn Shearer, the owner of Woodlands Elite Cheer Co. Shearer, identified the critically injured Texas cheerleader as Payton Washington. The teenager belongs to the Round Rock Independent School District. “She’s won every title there is to win in all-star cheerleading,” Shearer told NBC News. She is described by her friends and teachers as an excellent student and role model.

The shooting involving the Texas cheerleaders is the third case in which young people were shot after making a mistake. Last week, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl sustained severe bullet wounds after ringing the wrong doorbell in Kansas City, Missouri. He accidentally went to pick up his siblings at a house on an incorrect street. The incident sparked national outrage.

Kaylin Gillis was fatally shot a few days earlier after the car she was in turned into the wrong upstate New York driveway. Both incidents sparked outrage about gun violence and the controversial “stand your ground law” that says a shooter does not have to retreat before taking violent action to defend their personal property. The incident involving the Texas cheerleaders will probably fuel discussions.

According to CNN, the United States is the only country where firearms outnumber the population. Recent data from the Small Arms Survey states that there are 120 guns for every 100 citizens. Meanwhile, the man who shot the Texas cheerleaders is being held on preliminary charges of deadly conduct, which is a third-degree felony.

It is unclear if he sought legal representation. The supermarket manager who witnessed the Texas cheerleaders being shot has handed over parking lot surveillance footage to local police. After obtaining the license plate on the shooter’s car, officers were able to observe and arrest him at his home. When detectives made contact, Rodriguez was still in the clothing he wore during the shooting.

The tragic shooting of the Texas cheerleaders highlights gun violence in America. Despite numerous efforts to curb it, the country continues to experience a disproportionately high number of gun-related deaths. But the debate over gun control remains deeply polarized, with some advocating for stricter regulations and others fiercely defending their right to bear arms.