Texas Teen Shot in Park Leaves Hospital Only to Learn of Girlfriend’s Death
A lesbian teenager from a small town in Southern Texas who was gunned down with her girlfriend last month, recently left the hospital and is reportedly recovering well after being shot in the head, NBC Latino reported.
Kristene Chapa, 18, and her girlfriend Mollie Olgin, 19, were found in a Portland, Texas, park after being shot in June. Chapa had been shot in the head but survived. Olgin, a student at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.
While many suspected the incident to be a hate crime, local police are maintaining that there is no evidence that the shooting occurred because of the two teens’ sexual orientation. Police do add they have not ruled out that possibility.
Regardless of the motive, the death sent shock waves throughout the United States. Vigils were held from San Francisco to New York, and many compared it to the Matthew Shepard murder in its impact on the larger LGBT community.
Chapa left a local hospital last week and is now in rehab. Her brother Hilario Chapa, an army veteran, calls his sister a fighter as she is reportedly making a remarkable recovery. The teen has also been able to help police by giving them details about her attacker and officials have created a sketch of the suspect.
"She’s doing awesome," said Hilario Chapa. "One of the last days at the hospital her friends were able to come and see her and she lit up. She’s in neurological rehab, getting her speech and her way of thinking better," he continued. "She also is in physical therapy to help strengthen her left side and mental therapy as well."
Her brother also revealed that it was difficult to tell Chapa that Olgin died.
"She didn’t know about Mollie for the longest time, but we finally decided to tell her," he said. Hilario also said that law enforcement officials and Olgin’s family were with Chapa when the devastating news was delivered. "With that support group we passed the info to my little sister. She was brokenhearted, very upset."
Chapa’s brother said he didn’t know how to break the news to his younger sister.
"They told us you have to let her cry. I didn’t want to tell her not to cry. But Mollie’s father (Mario) is a very good man, considering he lost his daughter. He comes to visit her and when he does she gets emotional but he is supporting her. He wants to go visit her in rehab."
The teen’s brother said that the community has been very supportive as more than $32,000 has been donated to help Chapa’s medical expenses. Individuals have also come together across the country and held vigils and fundraisers for the couple.
Portland authorities say the 18 year old has been working with investigators and Wright says she "wants very badly to help us identify Mollie’s murderer."