Nationwide Call for Vigils for Lesbian Teen Couple Shot in Texas Park

Nationwide Call for Vigils for Lesbian Teen Couple Shot in Texas Park
Tracy E. Gilchrist

Friends, loved ones and LGBT activists are organizing vigils for, Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Mary Christine Chapa, 18, the lesbian couple that was shot by a gunman in a Portland park over the weekend. Olgin died from her wounds but Chapa survived and is currently in the hospital in serious condition, NBC affiliate reported.

Police have yet to arrest any suspects in the case but Portland Police Chief Randy Wright told reporters at MSNBC that bullet casings from a large caliber gun were found at the scene, although police have not uncovered a weapon.

“If we had a name, you know, we’d be having a different conversation right now. But we have not been able to gather enough information to identify a suspect yet,” Wright said Monday. “It appears as if … this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time.”

Wright told MSNBC on Monday that police could not determine for certain that the shooting was a hate crime but that it was a possibility. “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.”

Friends and loved ones have created a makeshift memorial at the scene of the crime out of “rainbow ribbons, goodbye messages, flowers and cut-out hearts” according to MSNBC.

Cleve Jones, an activist, contemporary of Harvey Milk, and the creator of the AIDS Memorial quilt put out a call for national organization of vigils in response to the crime.

Jones posted on Facebook regarding the tragedy and called on people to join him:

Last Friday, as millions of LGBT people and their allies were celebrating Pride, something awful happened in Portland, Texas.

We need to respond publicly to this tragedy.

Whoever shot Mary Christine Chapa and Mollie Judith Olgin, whatever the motive, regardless of where it happened, two beautiful girls were shot and one was killed. We need to honor the memory of Mollie and pray for the recovery of Mary.

Please, take some time to organize public vigils for Mollie and Mary in your communities this week. Let me know the locations and times and I will post them here.

Mary and Mollie loved each other. Now we need to show our love for them and their families and friends.

Please share this and organize vigils in your hometowns.

Friends and family of the young women have organized a candlelit vigil and walk in Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas on Friday, June 29, at 6 p.m.

A vigil has been planned to take place in San Francisco at Harvey Milk Plaza on Wednesday, June 27, at 7 p.m.

Also on Friday there will be a vigil in Washington D.C. in Dupont Circle at 6 p.m. 

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