Houstonians hold vigil for teen couple shot at park

June 29, 2012 8:44:22 PM PDT
Houstonians gathered Friday evening to remember a young gay couple shot last weekend in South Texas. One of the women was killed. Her girlfriend is still in the hospital.

Residents in Houston believe the violence against the couple many not have been random.

Most of them didn't even know the victims. But the people at Friday night's candlelight vigil felt moved to honor the life of Mollie Olgin and pray for the recovery of Mary Chapa because of something they shared with the teens.

"They were both young lesbians. And whenever we hear about a crime that affects people in our community, it's hard for us not to take it personally," said Sally Huffer with the Montrose Counseling Center.

With candles in hand, mourners gathered at the Montrose Remembrance Garden, a place dedicated to honoring victims of violence in the gay community. Olgin and Chapa were shot at a park in Portland, near Corpus Christi, last Saturday. That's the same weekend that gay communities across the country held pride parades.

"Especially if it's against someone within our community, I think it's an attack on the entire community. Whether it was hate motivated or not, it's violence, it's hate," MIX 96.5 DJ Blake Hayes said.

The teens had been dating for five months. Police say there's no evidence their sexual orientation was a motive for the crime, but they're not ruling anything out yet.

"It doesn't matter. It's still important to stand up and talk about because that's how we try and make it stop happening," Hayes said.

The people at the vigil say strangers or not, it's important to let the families of the victims know that Houston stands with them.

"I understand what it's like to be a victim and how powerful it is to see people stand up with you and say, 'Hey that's not OK,'" Hayes said.

The funeral for Olgin was held in Portland, followed by a vigil for both teens at the park where they were shot.

No arrests have been made but police have released a description of the suspected shooter.


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