On Monday night, four high school cheerleaders were returning home from an out-of-town cheerleading practice when they were caught in the middle of a shocking altercation in a Texas grocery store parking lot. Stony Point High School cheerleader Payton Washington was critically wounded in the shooting, with a bullet grazing her back and leg.
The incident began when one of the cheerleaders, Heather Roth, mistakenly attempted to enter the wrong vehicle. When she realized her mistake and drove away, the man who had been in the car, Pedro Tello Rodríguez Jr., opened fire on the girls. One of the girls was treated and released at the scene, but Washington was airlifted to a local hospital where she is currently in intensive care.
Washington’s friends and family are hopeful that she will make a full recovery. While the police have yet to make any official arrests, they are actively investigating the incident and are seeking information from anyone with knowledge of the shooting.
This is the third case this week in which youths who made an apparent mistake have been shot. It is yet another reminder of the dangers of gun violenceCheerleader in Critical Condition After Being Shot in Texas Grocery Store Parking Lot in the United States and the need for stronger gun control laws.
The incident has left the community in shock and mourning. “It’s just so hard to believe that something like this could happen in such a small town,” said one resident. “It’s a tragedy that we hope never happens again.”