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Police in Texas are searching for an assailant who targeted a lesbian couple in a close-range shooting that left one woman dead and the other in the hospital, however authorities said it is not being investigated as a hate crime.
Detectives are constructing a timeline of events, processing bullet casings found at the scene and are interviewing witnesses to understand what led up to the shootings of Mollie Olgin, 19, and Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, in the small town of Portland, Texas, which is located a few miles from Corpus Christi.
“The families are devastated, obviously, but there’s really no information that we’ve been able to determine yet that would indicate there was anyone who would want to do this to either of those girls,” Police Chief Randy Wright told ABC News’ Corpus Christi affiliate.
On Saturday morning, a couple discovered the bodies of the two women, who friends say were dating, in knee-high grass near a scenic lookout at Violet Andrews Park, police said.
Police believe both women were shot in the head around midnight. Olgin was pronounced dead at the scene. Chapa was taken to a local hospital and has since regained consciousness.
“The evidence suggests that there was a third party or parties involved,” Wright said.
Friends of the couple told local media they had been dating for five months.
Vigils across the country have been planned to honor the two women.
Cleve Jones, a gay rights activist, noted the timing of the crime, which happened during Pride weekend.
“Last Friday, as millions of LGBT people and their allies were celebrating Pride, something awful happened in Portland, Texas. We need to respond publicly to this tragedy,” he wrote. “Whoever shot Mary Christine 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 Mary.”
Mary Kristene Chapa was last listed in critical but stable condition
A celebration of Olgin’s life will be held this Friday.
“Mollie touched the lives of everyone and will always be remembered for her intelligence, beauty, compassion, humor and her kind heart,” her family wrote in her obituary.
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