The Portland, Texas police department has released a sketch of the alleged assailant in the June 22 Violet Andrews Park murder-shooting of lesbian couple Mollie Olgin and Mary Kristene Chapa.
Olgin was buried in Corpus Cristi a week ago and Chapa remains in critical condition, although stable and recovering in a local hospital. Chapa was shot in the head and is making a speedy recovery, according to media reports, but thus far has not been able to speak or move her left side.
According to a statement released by Portland Police Chief Randy Wright, an unnamed eyewitness provided police with the physical description of the assailant who is described as a white man in his 20′s with brown hair, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighing about 140 pounds. The witness indicated that the women were walked down a path by the assailant.
Wright has repeatedly said there is no evidence of a hate crime to date. Nonetheless, if the assailant or suspect has yet to be interviewed, motive for such a crime remains unknown. According to Michael Divesti, a leader of GetEQUAL Texas, LGBT individuals are always frightened and feel vulnerable when anyone is attacked in the community. So until the suspect is arrested, many LGBT people in the Portland and Corpus Cristi area remain vigilant toward those who may be anti-gay in their speech or actions.
The Department of Justice and Texas State Police, known as “Texas Rangers” have joined the investigation into the murder shooting.
A candlelight vigil was held a week ago in Corpus Cristi as a tribute to Olgin and Chapa, and other vigils have been held throughout the United States and in Canada. Texas LGBT activists have started a reward fund to find the assailant and bring him to an arrest by police. To contribute and for more information go to the Indiegogo site. GetEQUAL National and GetEQUAL Texas are providing a virtual notebook for posting personal messages that will be sent to the family of Mollie and to Mary Kristene and her family.
The sketch drawing of the Olgin-Chapa murder shooting was provided by the Portland Texas Police Department.
Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues. She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.