Two young women believed to be in a romantic relationship were apparently shot by a mysterious assailant in Portland, Texas Friday night. The two teenagers were found in tall grass on a park overlook in the small town near Corpus Christi, where one of the two victims attended school.
Portland Police Chief Randy Wright confirmed the identities of the two girls to local NBC affiliates and to MSNBC. Mollie Judith Olgin, a 19 year old student at Texas A&M, was declared dead; Mary Christine Chapa, 18, was taken to a nearby hospital where she is said to be in serious but stable condition.
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Friends of the girls have said that Olgin and Chapa began dating five months ago. Samantha Garrett, Olgin’s roommate, said that the couple had not received any threats or hateful remarks about their new relationship.
Wright said that police were operating on the assumption that the two girls were dating based on of information from family and friends. “We know from…Mollie’s parents that they were close,” he said.
“I’ve been trying to think of anybody I know that would try and hurt them for any reason,” Garrett said, “and not one person comes to mind.”
A vigil was held for the girls at a local high school Sunday and a candle-lit walk is scheduled to take place in the park on Friday. A vigil will also be held in San Fransisco, a city well known for its support of gay rights.
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Chief Wright said that although the events did seem more like measured attacks than a random action, they were not currently investigating the murder as a hate crime.
“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,” Wright said.
Although a bullet casing was found on the scene, no weapon has been discovered and there are currently no suspects in the shooting. A resident of a nearby home said that she heard two loud bangs the night of the events, but discounted the sounds as firecrackers.
Portland, a small town of 16,000 just north of Corpus Christi, is not known for crime and has not seen a homicide in two years.