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2 cheerleaders were shot in a Texas supermarket parking lot after one opened the door to the wrong vehicle. A suspect is under arrest

Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. was arrested after two Texas cheerleaders were shot Tuesday. Mandatory Credit: Elgin Police Department/Facebook

(CNN) — Two teenage cheerleaders were shot after one said she mistook the suspect’s vehicle for her own in a supermarket parking lot near Texas’ capital — making this at least the third incident this week in which young people who’d made an apparent mistake were met with gunfire.

Authorities arrested Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, the man they say shot the two teens. He was taken into custody early Tuesday, the Elgin Police Department said in a news release later that morning.

Officers responding just after midnight Tuesday to an H-E-B supermarket parking lot found two people in a vehicle who’d been struck by bullets, police said, citing preliminary reports. One with serious injuries was rushed by helicopter to a hospital and was in critical condition, while the other was treated at the scene, the release said.

The latter girl had gotten out of a friend’s car and opened the door to a vehicle she thought was hers, only to find a man sitting in the passenger seat, she said during a live-streamed prayer vigil Tuesday night at her cheer team’s gym, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.

Heather Roth said she was trying to apologize to the man when he got out of the passenger door.

“He just threw his hands up, and then he pulled out a gun and he just started shooting at all of us,” Roth said, fighting tears.

Roth was struck by a bullet but was treated and released at the scene, Lynne Shearer, managing partner of the Woodlands Elite cheer program, told CNN. The second cheerleader, Payton Washington, was shot twice and badly injured, according to a GoFundMe spearheaded by her cheerleading company, Woodlands Elite Generals. Washington is stable and recovering in the ICU, according to the cheerleading company.

Washington is “doing well today” after suffering from a ruptured spleen, which was removed, and she has damage to her pancreas and diaphragm, Shearer said Wednesday.

“Her stomach is not closed up yet and they are keeping her on heavy antibiotics for at least 48 hours to hopefully fight off infection,” she said. “Once they are sure there is no infection, they will go back in and finish up any issues and close her up.”

Roth and Washington are from the Austin and Round Rock area and were commuting in a carpool to a cheerleading gym in Oak Ridge North, a Houston suburb, three times a week.

The commute is about 300 miles round trip — a commute Washington has been doing for eight years, Shearer said.

Roth is in college, while the other three girls in the vehicle, including Washington, are in high school.

Washington, a senior who had committed to Baylor University’s Acrobatics and Tumbling team, was born with only one lung and “has surpassed many obstacles to rise to the very top of her sport,” Shearer said.

“Payton is a strong young lady; if you know her, you know that about her,” Baylor head acrobatics and tumbling coach Felecia Mulkey told CNN. “I have no doubt she’s going to get through this.”

After visiting Roth Tuesday, Mulkey said all things considered, she looked great and is making good progress — but acknowledged there’s still a long way to go on her path to recovery.

Mulkey described Roth as an “amazing athlete but a better human.”

“I know mental wounds also leave scars,” she said. “We want to lift up the athletes and their families during this difficult time. We love Payton and we wish her well as she recovers.”

Shearer said her team is busy still trying to prepare for the World Championships this weekend in Orlando, which Roth still plans to compete in.

Tuesday’s shooting was yet another case this week in which young people were shot after apparently going to the wrong place, including a 16-year-old struck in the head after ringing the wrong doorbell in Kansas City and a 20-year-old killed by the owner of a home whose driveway she’d inadvertently turned into.

The United States is the only nation with more civilian guns than people, with about 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to the Small Arms Survey. Elgin is a city of some 10,000 people about a half-hour drive east of Austin.

Rodriguez was being held on a preliminary charge of deadly conduct, a third-degree felony, the police release stated, with more or enhanced charges possible. It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

The supermarket manager witnessed the incident, and police have surveillance footage from the parking lot, could see the license plate on the suspect’s car and later observed him at his home, police said, according to a probable cause affidavit.

“Elgin Detectives contacted Pedro Tello at the residence. Pedro Tello was still wearing the clothing that was observed by Elgin Detectives in the surveillance footage,” the affidavit states.

Four Woodland Elite Cheer Company athletes were “involved in a horrific incident” on their way home from practice Monday night, the cheerleading and tumbling organization said in a Facebook post.

“We are asking for your prayers,” it said.