A 19-year-old is dead and her 18-year-old girlfriend seriously injured after being shot around midnight on Friday. They were discovered in a Portland, Texas park Saturday morning. Police believe it may be a hate crime.
A couple walking in the park Saturday morning came across the two women; both had been shot at close range. Mary Judith Olgin, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene while Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, was rushed to hospital. She had been shot in the head and CBS reports she is in serious but stable condition.
The Corpus Christi Caller reports police believe the two walked down a trail to an area with tall grass with their assailant or assailants. Olgin and Chapa were then shot with a high caliber handgun. From the evidence in the knee-high grass, police could not determine exactly how many people were in the immediate area. Olgin's car was found nearby.
ABC reports that Olgin and Chapa had been dating for the past five months.
Police have no suspects in the double shooting. As reported by CNN, a dark-coloured vehicle was seen leaving the park area around the time others heard two gunshots. But police do not believe it was a random attack. Randy White, the Portland police chief said, "This particular case, it does have some of the earmarks of a targeted attack."
As police have no motive for the shootings, they are not designating it, at least not yet, as a hate crime.
Tributes to the two poured in from their friends in the close-knit community of 16,000 that has not had a murder in two years. Samantha Garrett, Olgin's roommate was quoted by KZTV as saying, "I've been trying to think of anybody I know that would try and hurt them for any reason—especially them being a couple, and not one person has come to mind."
KZTV is also reporting that vigils will be held in major cities throughout the United States as well as one scheduled for Portland on Friday. James Mcgonnigal, who is organizing the event in Washington, D.C., said, "Whether they were targeted because of who they love or not this is a horrific crime and we want to make sure that there is a spotlight being shown on the investigation."
The FBI has been brought in to help local police find the person or persons responsible.