Mary Kristene Chapa, right, has made an amazing recovery after being shot in Portland, Texas. Hilario Chapa, left, says his sister is making incredible progress. Her girlfriend was killed in the attack. Police can not say as of yet whether it was a hate crime.

Mary Kristene Chapa, right, has made an amazing recovery after being shot in Portland, Texas. Hilario Chapa, left, says his sister is making incredible progress. Her girlfriend was killed in the attack. Police can not say as of yet whether it was a hate crime. (Courtesy Hilario Chapa)

Gay Latina teen making “amazing” recovery after tragic shooting of her and her girlfriend

Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, who was shot in the head on Saturday along with her girlfriend Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, who was killed, is making an “amazing” recovery, her brother told NBCLatino.com.

“Krissy’s health — considering what happened to her — she’s doing amazing,” says Hilario Chapa, 32. “She’s making a strong recovery. The doctors are amazed.”

A couple visiting Andrews Park in Portland, Texas on Saturday saw the bodies of two teens in a grassy area. In a statement, Portland police chief Randy Wright said that while family and friends have confirmed the two teens were in a same-sex relationship, there is no evidence as of yet to indicate the attacks were a hate crime. The Texas Rangers have joined the investigation.

Hilario, a tech sergeant in the Air Force reserve, who served with the 82nd airborne division, says his sister took sign language in high school and has been able to communicate in that way. He says she has made physical progress on her right side but they are still waiting for a response from the left side of her body.

“The doctors say it’s too early, no one is using the word paralyzed,” he says. “They say we should be so happy with her progress after 3 or 4 days. She’s very strong. She survived a very tough ordeal but her recovery is coming in strides and  impressing everybody.”

As of now her brother says there is no timeline for when she can come out of the intensive care unit and because of the investigation he is hesitant to share many details about the search for a suspect.

“We don’t know who did this to her, she hasn’t given us a name,” he says. “We’re under the impression she doesn’t know who did it. We don’t know if it’s a hate crime.”

The Mexican-American Chapa family lives in Sinton, Texas, which is 72 percent Latino.

Gay Latina teen making “amazing” recovery after tragic shooting of her and her girlfriend portland police crop people NBC Latino News

Portland Police block off access Saturday, June 23, 2012 to Violet Andrews Park, where they continue to investigate the shooting of two teens in Portland, Texas. Gay rights groups have called for a thorough police investigation into the fatal shooting of a teenage woman and wounding of her girlfriend in the park. (AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Michael Zamora)

A remarkably composed Hilario says he initially had trouble controlling his emotions when he found out what happened to his sister. His father, who is an Iraq war veteran, and his mother have also had to deal with the devastating shooting of their daughter.

“My father is the strong one,” he says. “My mom is not doing so well. They haven’t left the hospital. They come to my house to shower and then go back.”

With their father between jobs, Kristene is without insurance. The family has set up an official donation page on WePay, to help pay for her medical bills.

He says the family of Mollie Olgin has reached out to meet with his family but it hasn’t happened yet because his mother is so shaken over what happened that she is struggling with the idea of meeting with a family who lost their daughter. He says the families will eventually meet soon.

Hilario also addressed the support his family has received from across the country, as a Facebook event for a “candle lit walk in memory of Olgin and to keep Kristene Chapa in prayers for a speedy” recovery has 741 people who say they will participate Friday evening. He also says he and his family cherish the support they’ve received from the gay community across the country and abroad.

“I don’t want to say the wrong thing because my sister has always been private,” he says. “She is a lesbian and she’s getting a lot of support from the gay and lesbian community.  I’m proud of my sister. I have no problem with it and our family doesn’t either.”

Her brother says the support through this dark time is lifting spirits.

“It makes us all stronger and brings the community together,” he says.

“We just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else and find who did this.”

Mary Kristene Chapa’s family’s WePay donation page.

Comments

  1. [...] Chapa, the 18-year-old Texas teen who was shot in the head along with her girlfriend Mollie Olgin, 19, who was killed, is making remarkable progress, having left Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital [...]

  2. Becky says:

    My prayers go to there family and will keep her.in my prayers tht she will get alot better

  3. [...] has been a development in the ongoing investigation over the tragic shooting of two lesbian Latina teens who were shot in the head in [...]

  4. Jose L. Rodriguez says:

    Eventhought is wrong before God eyes to be in this kind of relationship,it is not wright to take somebody life in vain.Only God gives and takes,bless be his name for ever.My prayer goes out for the whole family and the victim of this act.Only the Lord knows what has happened and I hope they will learn from this tragedy.Let God and our Lord be the judged and give according to his word love,mercy and forgiviness to the perpetrator of this crime and the hurt one.Ammen

  5. [...] July 2, 2012 atxpost Austinist Photo via NBCLatino.com [...]

  6. josephine quinones says:

    sry to hear such incident happen god bless both family may god help us find who committed this crime

  7. [...] As Kristene Chapa makes an “amazing” recovery at a hospital near where she was shot and left for dead, along with her girlfriend who did pass away, national support has come in the form of donations, prayers and well wishes, along with a candle lit walk and vigil [...]

  8. [...] NBCLatino.com reports that Chapa is making an “amazing” recovery, according to her brother Hilario: [...]

  9. db says:

    MOURNING AND VENGEANCE

  10. NANA says:

    I just want to say to both of the families sorry to hear what happen I am a lesbian and it was hard for me to come out to this day I am still struggling.I cannot believe there are so many ugly people out there .My prayers for both families may God give you the strength for whats up ahead.God Bless

  11. michelle says:

    Am so happy she is doing much better I leaven my prayers to her and the family and I’LL keep Y’ALL in my prayers am very sorry of er LOST of her girlfriend my condones goes out to the family I was hurt when I hard about it but leaven my prayers in Y’ALL hand may God bless Y’ALL.

  12. Chris E says:

    Awesome family. Hope she makes it through.

  13. juanita deleon says:

    She comes from an amazing background. She didn’t deserve this nor did mollie. Hope they find who did this so they don’t hurt anyone else.

  14. [...] is currently listed as stable – will be able to fill in the blanks about what happened. In an interview with NBC Latino, her brother, Hilario Chapa, said she has been able to communicate through sign language. He said his [...]

  15. Caranina says:

    We are praying for your recovery! I hope they catch who did this! So horrible! May God bless you and your family, and comfort Mollie’s family…

  16. michelle hernandez says:

    Prayers going out to the families of these two young ladies..there was another body of a girl, Jenna Hernandez, found murdered in Aransas Pass this morning..I hope there isn’t a serial killer out there murdering random people..This is so scary!

  17. Yvette says:

    This is horrible and i hope they catch whoever did this to them god bless both families and may this young girl make a full recovery

  18. What a brave and loving family. I hope she makes a quick physical recovery, and send her lots of strength for the emotional healing.

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