Texas cheerleader shot |  Payton Washington talks to GMA about recovery after being shot after a friend got into the wrong car

ELGIN, Texas — Payton Washington, for one two Texas cheerleaders were shot in April after his friend accidentally opens the wrong car door, speaks for the first time since the attack that left him in critical condition.

“My spleen was crushed. My stomach had two holes in it. And my diaphragm had two holes in it. And then they had to remove the lobe from my pancreas. I had 32 staples,” Washington said.

Washington, 18, described the horrific incident in an exclusive interview Friday with “Good Morning America” ​​co-anch Michael Strahan.

“I was actually texting and (eating) Twizzlers,” Washington said of the moments before someone opened his teammate's car door.

Just after midnight on April 18, Washington and three of his teammates with the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company finished practice and were in the HEB parking lot in Elgin, Texas.

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One of her teammates, Heather Roth, 21, opened the door of a vehicle she thought belonged to her, but a stranger, who was later identified by police as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, was in the passenger seat.

Roth, who later spoke on Instagram Live after the incident, said he got out of the car and headed back to a friend's vehicle where three other cheerleaders, including Washington, were sitting. According to authorities, Rodriguez allegedly approached the vehicle with the cheerleaders, and when Roth rolled down the window to apologize, Rodriguez opened fire on four of the cheerleaders, wounding Roth and shooting Washington three times.

Washington told Strahan he was acting on instinct at this point.

“I immediately turned over with my blanket,” he said. “I don't know where it came from or what but because it was so loud my ears were ringing I knew to turn around and do something.”

The cheerleaders leave while gunfire continues. Washington said he began to notice he was having difficulty breathing and realized he had been shot.

“We tried to escape. I literally just told myself to breathe. It was hard to breathe because of my diaphragm,” he said. “I tried to stay as calm as possible for the other people in the car. I know how sad and scared they were.”

Very quickly, he knew “something was wrong.” “I saw blood on the (my passenger) seat. So I knew somewhere I was bleeding. But I had so much adrenaline I didn't know where,” Washington said. “And every time we pulled over and opened the door, I was like, ‘Oh, gotta puke.' And that's when I vomited blood.”

Rodriguez allegedly fled the scene but was later arrested at his home, according to court documents. He has since been charged with lethal conduct, third degree felony, police said. Rodriguez's bail was initially set at $500,000 but was reduced to $100,000, according to his lawyers. Rodriguez is currently out on bail and has yet to enter a plea.

This image provided by the Elgin Police Department shows Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr.

Roth, who was hit by a bullet, was treated for his wounds and released at the scene, while Washington was flown by helicopter to a hospital near Austin in critical condition.

Washington underwent a series of life-saving procedures to treat two bullets that hit him in the back and a gunshot wound to his left side of the stomach.

However, he said “the hardest part was after the surgery.”

Prior to the shooting, Washington had been accepted to Baylor University and would join the stunt and tumble team in the fall. Now, he says simple things, like getting out of bed or standing up on your own are challenging.

“It's hard … it hurts to walk or stand really weird when, a week before, you're doing a lot of somersaults, running the track, and doing long jumps, and all these things,” Washington said.

But he said he wouldn't dwell on the past.

“He does what he does, and I'm just going to try and get through it. At no point do I really think about what he's doing,” he said.

Just five weeks after the shooting, Washington joined his friends at graduation. He says he is committed to getting his life back.

“You can literally do anything if you push and hold on,” he says. “Never doubt yourself because you can do anything as long as you put 120% into it.”