One teenage girl is dead with head injuries and another has been hospitalized in serious but stable condition after both were found shot in the head on Saturday. Nineteen-year-old Mollie Judith Olgin was found dead and 18-year-old Mary Christine Chapa seriously wounded; the two young women had been in a relationship for five months. Visitors found Olgin and Chapa in a Portland park in southern Texas; Chapa was rushed to a hospital and is still there, says local NBC affiliate kristv.com.
Portland Police Chief Randy Wright told kristv.com that “we understood from their friends that they were (in a romantic relationship). I know from … Mollie’s parents that they were very close.”
MSNBC asked Wright if the girls’ sexuality had anything to do with the shootings; the police chief responded “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.” Noting that police had not yet been able to gather enough information yet to identify a suspect, Wright added “It appears as if … this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time.”
Police had recovered bullet casings from a large-caliber gun near the site which MSNBC describes as a “nature area with some parts overgrown and no lights.” The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports that a resident heard two loud bangs on Friday night and thought they were firecrackers. The area where Olgin and Chapa were found was, in Wright’s words, near a “scenic overlook with a wooden deck,” at the end of which is a “very steep incline into a grassy area that leads down to the shoreline.”
Both Olgin’s and Chapa’s families are “devastated,” says the Corpus Christi Caller Times. Olgin’s roommate, Samantha Garrett, told kristv.com that the couple was ”fun-loving” and “hadn’t gotten any negative responses to their relationship and could not think of why anyone would want to harm them.”
MSNBC says that the last homicide in Portland occurred two years ago. The town, described as a “bedroom community of Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico,” has a low crime rate. But based on the horrific shootings of Olgin and Chapa, it is not a safe place for everyone.
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Photo by Elvert Barnes