Texas cheerleader who was shot in parking lot says she tries not to think about the man who shot her

Payton Washington, an 18-year-old high school senior, was shot three times after her teammate entered the wrong car in a supermarket parking lot in Texas.

  • Payton’s teammate accidentally got into the wrong car at a Texas supermarket parking lot. The driver then shot her three times.

  • In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America program, Washington talked about her shooting and said she tried not to think of the man who shot at her.

  • Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. shot her. He was charged later with engaging in deadly behavior, a third degree felony.

A Texas High School cheerleader said she tries to not think about the man that allegedly shot at her after a mistaken teammate entered his car on a supermarket parking area.

Payton Washington, 18 years old, told ABC’s Good Morning America that it was pointless to dwell on what he had done.

Washington stated, “I am just trying to be as normal as possible and do what a high school senior would do.”

Washington sustained three gunshot injuries and Heather Roth, a teammate, was lightly grazed in the incident.


Roth claimed that she got in the wrong car by mistake in Elgin in April, which is just east of Austin. She realized her mistake and got out of the car to go back to the one where Washington and the other cheerleaders were seated. A man approached Washington’s car.

Roth said that she had rolled down the window to apologize when he started shooting. Police identified the man as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr.

Payton Washington, a Stony Point high school cheerleader, was shot by Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. when one of her friends mistakenly thought their car was his. Washington claims she tries not to think about Rodriguez Jr. while speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America on June 2, 2023. (Instagram/@we_payton)

Washington claimed that she didn’t realize she was injured until she saw the blood on her car seat, and then felt pain in the abdomen as the cheerleaders fled their vehicle.

Washington claimed that she was shot in the hip twice and in the back once. The wounds caused her stomach to be damaged and her spleen, and a part of her pancreas were removed.

Rodriguez was arrested for engaging in deadly conduct. This is a third degree felony.

A listed attorney for Rodriguez didn’t immediately respond to a Friday morning phone call seeking comment.

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The shooting happened days after two high profile shootings in which victims were shot after going to the wrong address. In one instance, a Black teenager was wounded and shot after going to the incorrect Kansas City Missouri home to pick up younger brothers. In another case, a woman searching for her friend’s home in upstate New York died after her car accidentally went to the incorrect address.

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