Texas cheerleader shot for getting into wrong car speaks out as friend remains hospitalised

Four cheerleaders were returning from practice when the shooting occurred

Ariana Baio
Thursday 20 April 2023 14:43 BST
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One of the two Texas cheerleaders who were shot after accidentally getting into the wrong car has revealed details about the horrifying incident.

Heather Roth, 21, told a crowd of people on Tuesday that she was in the car with Payton Washington and two other cheerleaders when the shooting occurred, according to ABC 13.

Ms Roth and the other people in the car were returning home from cheerleading practice at Woodlands Elite Cheer Co in Oak Ridge North, Texas just after midnight.

According to Ms Roth, she got out of her friend’s car, which was parked in an H-E-B parking lot, and into a vehicle she believed to be her own.

Ms Roth said there was a man sitting in the passenger seat which caused her to panic thinking there was a stranger in her car. She promptly got out and back into her friend’s car.

"As we’re backing up, I see the guy get out of the passenger door, and I roll my window down, and I was trying to apologize to him,” Ms Roth said as reported by ABC 13. “And then he… threw his hands up, and he pulled out a gun, and then, he just started shooting at all of us.”

According to an affidavit, a manager at the H-E-B witnessed the gunman “shoot at the vehicle multiple times” before leaving the area, CNN reported.

Ms Roth suffered a bullet graze injury but was treated and released on the scene.

Ms Washington was hit in the back and leg, suffering from more serious injury. Ms Roth recounted that Ms Washington opened her door and began vomiting blood.

"Nobody deserves anything like this," Ms Roth said.

Ms Washington was taken by helicopter to Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas. Her father, Kelan Washington told NBC News that his daughter had surgery to remove her ruptured spleen but was stable in the ICU.

A GoFundMe has been started for Ms Washington to pay for her medical expenses.

Authorities from the Elgin Police Department said in a statement on Facebook identified and arrested 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr and charged him with deadly conduct.

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