ELGIN, Texas — A Texas high school cheerleader says she tries not to think about the man who allegedly shot her after a teammate mistakenly entered his car in a supermarket parking lot.
“He did what he did, and I'm just going to try and get through it, there's no point in me, really, trying to think about what he did,” Payton Washington, 18, said during an interview on Friday.
“I'm just trying to do whatever I can to be normal and do everything a senior in high school would do,” Washington said.
Washington suffered three gunshot wounds and teammate Heather Roth was grazed by a bullet in the shooting.
It happened after Roth said she mistakenly got into the wrong car in Elgin, just east of Austin, in April. Realizing her mistake, she got out and went to the car where the other cheerleaders, including Washington, were sitting. A man approached the car.
Roth has said she rolled down a window to apologize to him when he began shooting. The man was identified by police as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr.
Washington said she did not realize immediately she was wounded, then saw blood on the car seat and felt pain in her abdomen as the cheerleaders fled in their vehicle.
Washington said she was shot twice in the hip and once in the back, with the wound damaging her stomach and causing the removal of her spleen and part of her pancreas.
Rodriguez was arrested and charged with engaging in deadly conduct, a third-degree felony.
An attorney listed for Rodriguez did not immediately return a phone call for comment Friday morning.
The shooting occurred days after two high-profile shootings that occurred after victims went to mistaken addresses. In one case, a Black teen was shot and wounded after going to the wrong Kansas City, Missouri, home to pick up his younger brothers. In the other, a woman looking for a friend’s house in upstate New York was shot and killed after the car she was riding in mistakenly went to the wrong address.