A memorial is seen at the corner of Market and Castro Streets during a vigil for Mollie Olgin and Mary Kristene Chapa (pictured). (AP Photo/Megan Farmer, San Francisco Chronicle)

Gay Latina teen who was shot receives national groundswell of support

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.

The WePay donation page set up to pay for Chapa’s medical bills has reached $25,000 as of Friday.

The vigil, planned on Facebook, will be at Violet Andrews Park where the teens were found “in memory of Mollie Olgin and to keep Kristene Chapa in prayers for a speedy” recovery. A vigil in San Francisco occurred on Wednesday and another one is planned in Washington D.C. today.

Olgin, who’s father Mario is Hispanic, is being remembered by her friends.

“The last time I was with Mollie was late at night in a Walmart and she kept telling me she wanted to have kids one day and she was telling me about Kristene,” says Shelby Kaye Forward, 18, her friend of more than eight years. “It’s the first time I’ve seen her so excited about being in a relationship.”

At the hospital, Chapa has written Olgin’s name down a few times, but her brother Hilario said he is worried about telling her she was killed, fearing it could cause a medical setback.

“I’m kind of afraid,” he told MSNBC.com. “She is in such a fragile state right now.”

Police have not ruled out that the attack was a hate crime but have not said they believe it to be the case either. Hilario doesn’t know what to think.

“I know that Texas has a lot of stereotypes … but South Texas really is a good place,” he said. “You don’t see a lot of hate crimes going on down here. You don’t hear about gay bashing or anything like that.”

Rumors, questions and fear spread after a third Latina, Jenna Hernandez, 16, was shot and killed on Monday, two days after the Portland attack, in the nearby town of Aransas, but its police chief Eric Blanchard says there is no connection whatsoever.

“In our situation we have reason to believe she was directly targeted by other individuals,” Blanchard says. “It has no relation to what’s going on in Portland. I can say that with pretty good conviction in my heart.”

The Portland police have released a description of a suspect involved in the attack. “An eyewitness to the offense has described the suspect as a white male in his 20s, 5 foot 8 inches tall, 140 lbs with dark hair,” a statement read.

The memorial for Olgin was at a funeral home near the park where they were found.

“We’re focusing on the amazing impact that Mollie had just with a smile and a hug, and hoping that Kristene makes a full recovery,” Olgin’s friend, Shelby Forward says.

“She will be dearly missed.”

Comments

  1. […] about how the community has come together to embrace his sister and remember Olgin, Hilario says he’s been taken aback by the […]

  2. […] A national groundswell of support came to life as news spread of the tragedy which had befallen the teens and memorials and vigils sprang up around the country. […]

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