US: 2 cheerleaders shot in supermarket parking lot after accidentally opening car door

US: 2 cheerleaders shot in supermarket parking lot after accidentally opening car door

HOUSTON: Two African American cheerleaders were shot after one of them mistakenly opened a car door in a supermarket parking lot near Austin, Texas, United States, on Tuesday.

The suspect, a 25-year-old white man identified as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., was arrested several hours later in Elgin, about a 50-minute drive from Austin, the Elgin Police Department said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

Officers responded to the incident that occurred in the HEB supermarket parking lot shortly after midnight Tuesday.

One teenager was rushed to hospital by helicopter and is reported to be in critical condition, while another was treated at the scene, according to the statement.

Local media outlet KPRC reported that the two teenagers were members of the Houston area’s elite cheerleading team.

They had just finished a training session in preparation for the upcoming competition before being shot.

A girl opened the car door that she thought belonged to her before finding a man sitting in the passenger side.

When he realized it wasn’t the right car, he went back to another car, KPRC reported.

“I saw the guy get out of the passenger side. And I rolled my window down, and I tried to apologize to him… and he just pulled out a gun, and he started shooting at all of us,” said another cheerleader Heather Roth.

Roth was hit by a bullet, but another girl, Payton Washington, was shot twice and seriously injured, according to a GoFundMe spearheaded by her cheerleading company, Woodlands Elite Generals.

The suspect has been charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.

Police said additional charges may be filed.

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