Police release description of suspect who shot teen lesbian couple in Portland, Texas


Mollie Judith Olgin and Mary Kristene Chapa

Police released a suspect description Thursday in the shooting of a teenage lesbian couple near Corpus Christi last weekend, according to the Caller-Times:

An eyewitness described the suspect as a white male in his 20s with dark hair standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds. …

Several vehicles were seen at the park the evening of the shootings, and police ask anyone who visited the park Friday night to contact the Portland Police Department. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to call police at 361-777-4444. Callers may remain anonymous.

Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, were both shot in the head at Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, last Friday night. Visitors to the park discovered the pair the next morning. Olgin died at the scene, and Chapa was rushed to the hospital, where she is recovering. The couple had been together for five months.

—  John Wright

Vigil planned in Dallas for teenage lesbian couple shot near Corpus Christi last weekend

Mollie Judith Olgin and Mary Christine Chapa

Police now say they have “no evidence to suggest” the shooting of a teenage lesbian couple in South Texas last weekend was an anti-gay hate crime, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

However, that hasn’t stopped LGBT advocates and others from planning vigils across the state and nation this weekend for the two women.

Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, died at the scene, and Mary Christine Chapa, 18, is in stable condition after both were shot in the head at a bayside park in Portland, Texas, late Friday or early Saturday. Friends say the couple had been together for five months.

“Whether or not it was a hate crime, it was a crime against humanity, and for that reason alone we must stand up as humans family and support all who are in mourning,” said Michael Diviesti, co-state lead organizer for the LGBT direct action group GetEQUAL Texas. “When something like this happens to one of us, it happens to all of us.”

GetEQUAL Texas is planning vigils in Dallas and San Antonio for the couple, who will also be remembered Friday night at the park where they were shot in Portland — and at events from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. this weekend. For a full list, go here. The Dallas vigil will be at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Legacy of Love Monument, at Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road.

“Join the Dallas LGBT Community … as we show our response to this senseless violence against such young members of our community, not anger or violence of our own, but by an outpouring of love for these young women and their families,” wrote Daniel Cates, North Texas coordinator for GetEQUAL. “It is our goal to cover the Legacy of Love Monument with our own expressions of love. The community is encouraged to bring flowers to lay upon the monument steps, candles, letters and any other expressions of love and peace and respect for these young girls. GetEQUAL TX will provide 2 Rainbow Flags where members of the Dallas community can write personal messages — one will be sent to the family of Mollie and the other to Kristene in hopes of a full and speedy recovery.”

Equality Texas and the Human Rights Campaign issued a joint statement Tuesday urging local law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Justice to continue their investigation of the shooting. The statement said HRC has reached out to Portland police, the DOJ and the FBI.

“I want to express my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific crime,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Two young lesbian women were shot and one lost her life. Regardless of the motivation behind this tragedy, we must send a strong message that violence against anyone is never acceptable. We have reached out to law enforcement officials at both the federal and local level, and hope to see a thorough investigation. These women, and all victims of violent crimes, deserve nothing less.”

—  John Wright

BREAKING: Teenage lesbian couple found shot in park near Corpus Christi; 1 dead, 1 hospitalized

One member of a teenage lesbian couple is dead and the other is in serious but stable condition after the pair were found shot in the head in a park outside Corpus Christi over the weekend, according to news reports.

Nineteen-year-old Mollie Judith Olgin was found dead, and 18-year-old Mary Christine Chapa was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery and is now stable and able to communicate.

Olgin and Chapa, who had been together for five months, were found by visitors to Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Their bodies were in tall grass beneath a scenic overlook deck, both with gunshot wounds to the head from a large-caliber handgun.

Police believe the shooting happened at about midnight Friday, but they have no suspects or motive. Portland Police Chief  Randy Wright told MSNBC that investigators believe the shootings were committed by a third party but are unsure whether they are related to the girls’ sexual orientation.

“That’s always something that we’re looking for, but as of this point, we have not been able to establish that that had anything to do with the attack,” Wright said.

However, Wright added that it appears “this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time.” And he told KRISTV that the attack “does have some of the earmarks of a targeted attack.”

Watch MSNBC’s report below.

UPDATE: A candle-lit walk is scheduled for Friday in the park “in memory of Mollie Olgin and to keep Kristene Chapa in prayers for a speedy yet well recovery. Vigils are also planned in San Francisco organized by Cleve Jones and in Washington, D.C.

—  John Wright