Mary Kristene Chapa & Mollie Judith Olgin shot in Texas — Vigil in Anchorage on Sunday, July 1
Please join us for a brief vigil in Anchorage this Sunday, July 1 at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the Park Strip at 5:00 PM for Mary Kristene Chapa (18) and Mollie Judith Olgin (19), who were shot and left for dead last Friday in Portland, Texas. Olgin died; Chapa underwent surgery and is in the hospital. The two women had been in a relationship for five months.
The women were found Saturday morning by a couple walking in Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, a suburb of Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Corpus Christi Caller, which first reported the story, police believe Olgin and Chapa walked down a trail with their assailant(s) to an area with tall grass, and were then shot a close range with a high caliber handgun. According to a story at MSNBC,
[Portland Police Chief Randy] Wright said police had recovered a bullet casing from a large-caliber gun at the scene, but they haven’t found the weapon. A resident living nearby reported hearing two loud bangs Friday before midnight but believed they were from firecrackers, the newspaper said.
The park, more of nature area with some parts overgrown and no lights, was generally frequented by visitors during the day. It is located along a bluff overlooking a bay, Wright said, with some homes situated nearby.
“We’re not really sure how they got to the point that they were found,” he said of the girls. “It is a scenic overlook with a wooden deck and there is a place at the edge of the deck where you can actually go down a very steep incline into a grassy area that leads down to the shoreline and that’s where they found.”
After being found Saturday morning, Olgin was pronounced dead at the scene and Chapa was rushed to the hospital.
Mollie Judith Olgin had just completed her first semester at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and wanted to become a psychiatrist. She and Mary Kristene Chapa had begun dating about five months ago, and family and friends of both were supportive of their relationship. They were planning to go to a movie last Friday night, and had stopped by the park to kill some time before the movie began, according to Mario Olgin, Mollie’s father.
There has been widespread speculation that Olgin and Chapa were targeted because they were lesbians. Chief Wright said there was no evidence that “the attacks were motivated by that relationship,” but the possibility that it was a hate crime has not been ruled out. The Texas Rangers have now joined in investigation of the crime.
Memorial services for Olgin will be held today, followed by a candlelight vigil for both young women at Violet Andrews Park.
Meanwhile, the LGBTQ community nationally has begun to mobilize in support of Chapa and memory of Olgin. A vigil was held Wednesday night in San Francisco, and others are being held today in Miami, FL and Washington, DC. More are being organized throughout the country.
And another will be held Sunday right here in Anchorage. We need to respond publicly to this tragedy. Whoever shot Mary Kristene Chapa and Mollie Judith Olgin, whatever the motive, regardless of where it happened, two beautiful girls were shot and one was killed. We need to honor the memory of Mollie and pray for the recovery of Kristene.
- Date/time: Sunday, July 1, 5:00–5:45 PM
- Location: Martin Luther King Memorial, Delany Park Strip, L Street & West 9th Ave, Anchorage (see map)
- Further info: see Facebook events page.
According to GetEQUAL TX:
Kristene is without insurance and the family is in need of help and support. They have set up a fund to help offset the costs of her hospital stay. If you have any to spare, please do. Several donation links have gone out across the internet however, this is the one that friends and family members have confirmed is correct. http://www.gofundme.com/kristene
If you do not feel comfortable donating online, you are invited to send a check or money order to Prosperity Bank to contribute to Mary Christine Chapa’s Medical Expense fund, set up by her family.
Money Orders and Checks made out to:
Mary Christine Chapa Fund
1127 E. Sinton St.
Sinton, Texas 78387
Note: Mary Kristene Chapa’s middle name has been reported in the press both as Christine and Kristene. The vigil organized by friends of the couple today in Portland, TX, uses Kristene, apparently also the name she goes by day-to-day, and so is used here.Tags: hate crimes, lesbian, Mary Kristene Chapa, Mollie Judith Olgin, Texas