An investigation has begun into the shooting of a teen lesbian couple at a South Texas park over the weekend. One of the young women died and the other is severely injured, according to a state public safety spokesman on Tuesday. The Portland Police Department asked for the assistance of Texas Rangers in the investigation, with Rangers combing the park where the couple was found on Tuesday.
“The Texas Rangers are assisting in the Portland investigation. We offered our assistance and they accepted and we have been actively involved in the investigation since Sunday,” Tom Vinger, spokesman for Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.
Vinger also said that the Portland Police Department was the lead for the investigation and that no details would be discussed by the Portland Police or the Rangers. The two teens, Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, were involved in a same-sex relationship. The two were found in a grassy section of the park by a couple on Saturday morning. The two had suffered gunshot wounds to the head, according to Portland Police Chief Randy Wright.
Olgin, from Corpus Christi, died from her gunshot wounds. Olgin was originally from Ingleside. Chapa is from Sinton and was rushed to a local hospital and has been listed in stable condition. Wright did say that officers found a bullet casing from a large-caliber gun at the scene of the shooting. This leads investigators to think that the shooting occurred where the women were found. The weapon has yet to be found. Wright also said that a couple of witnesses heard what might have been gunshots or firecrackers around midnight on Friday but did not report the noise at the time they heard it.
“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. Diviesti is the co-state lead organizer for the LGBT direct action group known as GetEQUAL Texas. “When something like this happens to one of us, it happens to all of us.”
A vigil is being planned by the group in Dallas and San Antonio for the couple. On Friday night, the couple will also be remembered at the park where the crime occurred.
“I want to express my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific crime,” said Human Rights Campaign 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.”