More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Kristene Chapa Leaves Hospital, Learns of Mollie's Death & Gives a Face to Her 'Monster' Attacker
Kristene Chapa, 18, has left the hospital and helped the police sketch the man who shot her and her girlfriend, Mollie Olgin, execution style in June, leaving Kristene in critical condition and Mollie dead.
Early in July, Kristene provided a forensic artist with information to sketch the shooter. Because of brain injuries sustained in the attack, Kristene had been struggling to communicate effectively. Her recovery has continued to progress, so she contacted the artist last week and asked to refine the sketch.
Her description was consistent with the one she originally provided. Kristene says that her attacker is a white man in his 20s with brown hair, standing at 5’8”, weighing 140 pounds.
The shooting took place close to a month ago, but the nightmare of the attack’s aftermath continues. The road ahead to Kristene’s full emotional and physical recovery, as well as to identifying a suspect, is a long one.
In just the past week, Kristene, along with refining the drawing, has been released from the hospital, begun rehabilitative therapies (neurological, physical, and psychological), and was told for the first time that Mollie did not survive the violent attack in the grassy Texas park that night.
Mollie’s fate had initially been kept from Kristene for fear it would negatively affect her recovery. The time had come, though, said her brother Hilario, to tell Kristene the truth. Their family sat with Mollie’s parents as well as with authorities from the investigation to tell her.
“With that support group we passed the info to my little sister,” said Hilario. “She was brokenhearted, very upset…They told us ‘you have to let her cry.’”
Though the Olgin and Chapa families had not met before the shooting, they have come together to take care of Kristene and to find Mollie’s killer.
Hilario said that Mollie’s father Mario “comes to visit [Kristene] and when he does, she gets emotional but he is supporting her.”
After seeing the final sketch of his daughter’s killer, Mario told his local NBC affiliate, “I think about [Mollie’s] last 15, 20, 30 minutes on Earth…how scared both girls had to be whenever they were approached by this monster.”
Regarding the investigation (led by the local police department, Texas Rangers, and FBI) and the difficulty finding a suspect or establishing a motive, Mario said, “it’s been over three weeks now and the longer it carries on, the harder it’s gonna be.”
GLAAD urges the media to keep covering this case and telling the tragic story of this young couple. The latest updates on Kristene and the ongoing investigation continue to garner international attention, and have been covered by major news outlets and affiliates, including MSNBC, NBC Latino, New York Daily News, ABC, CBS, and Huffington Post. The story has also been circulating around the blogosphere, appearing in places like LGBTQ Nation, Queerty, Lez Get Real, Pink News, Gay Star News, and Towleroad.
If you have any information, please call the police in Portland, Texas at (361) 777-4444. To help cover Kristene’s medical expenses (her family is uninsured as her father, an Iraq War veteran, is between jobs), you can donate to the Chapa family's page on WePay.