Payton Washington, an 18-year-old Texas cheerleader, is in stable condition in the ICU after being shot in a grocery store parking lot. She was shot in the leg and back and required surgery to remove her ruptured spleen. Although heavily sedated, Washington has been able to talk to visitors when she is awake.
She was on her way home from practice with three friends when they stopped at an HEB in Elgin, northeast of Austin in central Texas. Her friend mistakenly opened the wrong door and found a stranger in the passenger seat. As she began to apologize, a man approached and started shooting.
Washington’s friend was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene. Woodlands Elite Cheer Co., for which Washington cheers, is preparing to compete in the Allstar World Championship in Orlando without her.
Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, was arrested on a charge of deadly conduct, a third-degree felony.
Firearms continue to be the leading cause of death among children in the U.S., and a recent spate of shootings has sparked a fresh wave of outrage.
Click ▶️ to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.