ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — A Central Texas cheerleader is in the hospital after a Tuesday shooting in Elgin.

Elgin Police said a 25-year-old man fired shots into a car at an H-E-B parking lot and injured two people.

Lynn Shearer, owner of Woodland’s Elite Cheer Co., said four cheerleaders who go to her gym were involved in that shooting.

“It was unfortunate. These girls were just trying to get home,” Shearer said.

Shearer said the cheerleaders carpool from the Austin area to her gym.

“These kids have grown up in our gym. We’ve known them for years, some of them literally, since they were, you know, eight,10 years old,” Shearer said. “So they’re like our family.”

She said Monday night they were returning back to the H-E-B in Elgin, where they parked their cars when one of the girls accidentally tried to get into the wrong car.

“The guy got out and they saw that he had a gun. And so they tried to speed off, and he shot his gun, like five times or so into the car,” Shearer said.

Police said multiple shots were fired into a vehicle in the parking lot at 1080 East U.S. Highway 290, hitting two people. One person was treated at the scene, EPD said. Another person was taken to the hospital by helicopter with serious injuries.

Shearer said that person was Round Rock ISD cheerleader Payton Washington.

“She’s won every title there is to win in all-star cheerleading. She’s literally a role model for the kids in this industry throughout the country,” Shearer said. “Everybody knows her. She’s literally one of the very best that’s ever done this sport.”

Washington’s father told NBC she’s recovering in the intensive care unit at Dell Seton Medical Center after being shot in the back and leg when the gunfire erupted. He said doctors removed her spleen and she’s now stable.

  • Payton Washington headshot
  • Payton Washington with her Stony Point Cheerleading team
  • Payton Washington with her Stony Point Cheerleading team

According to Stony Point High School’s cheerleader booster club, Washington was one of their own senior varsity cheerleaders as well.

The organization said she is recovering at a nearby hospital after surgery.

Officers initially responded to the shots fired call around 12:15 a.m. While at the scene, police got a call for a shooting victim near 800 State Highway 95 North, which is about two miles away from the first call, police said.

After investigating throughout the night, police said a suspect, identified as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., was taken into custody and charged with deadly conduct, a third-degree felony.

While at the scene, EPD obtained surveillance footage of the parking lot where the shooting occurred. The surveillance footage displayed a Texas license plate for the suspect, the criminal complaint document states.

Photo: Elgin Police Department
Photo: Elgin Police Department

EPD said the investigation is still active and additional or enhanced charges could be filed.

As Washington embarks on the road to recovery, Shearer said she and the Woodlands Elite team will be there every step of the way.

“So our goal right now is to take it one day at a time and be there for them,” Shearer said.