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Gay rights groups seek justice in shooting of young lesbian couple in Texas

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas are urging the Department of Justice and local law enforcement in Portland, Texas, to continue investigating the shooting of a young lesbian couple in a park over the weekend.

The couple, ages 18 and 19 respectively, were found Saturday and are believed to have been shot about nine hours earlier. The shooting claimed the life of one of the young women, Mollie Judith Olgin, 19; the other teen, Mary Christine Chapa, 18, remains in serious but stable condition following emergency surgery. The motive of the shooting remains unclear, but the local police chief told the media that he does not believe that the girls' sexual identity was a factor.

HRC has reached out to local law enforcement officials as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI. HRC President Chad Griffin released the following statement:

“I want to express my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific crime. Two young lesbian women were shot and one lost her life. Regardless of the motivation behind this tragedy, we must send a strong message that violence against anyone is never acceptable. We have reached out to law enforcement officials at both the federal and local level, and hope to see a thorough investigation. These women, and all victims of violent crimes, deserve nothing less.”

Equality Texas issued the following statement after speaking with DOJ’s Community Relations Service:

“Equality Texas joins with the Human Rights Campaign in urging a swift and thorough investigation of this crime. We applaud the Department of Justice Community Relations Service for quickly offering their assistance. Community members are welcome to join a candlelight walk and vigil this Friday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at Violet Andrews Park, 305 Wildcat, Portland, TX 78374.”