About one year ago, a tragedy happened in Portland, Texas. Two teens, Kristine Chapa and Mollie Judith Olgin, were brutally shot and left to die in a bayside park. The attack claimed the life of Olgin, Chapa’s girlfriend. The two had been together for five months, and had Chapa had been visiting the park to see where her girlfriend had been baptized.
The two were found in the park around 8:30 AM the next morning, almost nine hours after the heinous attack. After being shot in the head, Chapa is fighting to make a recovery that her doctors consider to be a most miraculous one.
The gunshot pierced the left side of her brain, severely damaging her motor cortex. Chapa says she went from “being independent to being a toddler.” She had to re-learn how to maintain balance, speak without stuttering, make facial expressions, and other basics—such as sitting, standing, and walking.
Chapa had graduated from the use of a recliner, to the use of a wheelchair, before she started walking with a limp. The one thing that remains unchanged is her left fist, which stays curled into a fist. “Just being able to open my fingers is what I’ve been dying to do,” she says. Dozens of Botox injections have been given in an effort to help Chapa loosen her fingers.
Dr. Osbert Blow, of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, was quoted for NBC saying, “She is behaving like someone who had a (left-sided) stroke,” he noted. “As those neurons in the brain tissue heal, then it’s like rewiring circuitry, so that’s why you don’t really know the full extent of the recovery until sometimes years later.”
Blow then went on to say that Chapa has done an excellent job in terms of her recovery, calling it “miraculous”.
The case is still open, therefore not many details have been revealed. Police suspect that the couple was shot with a .45 caliber gun, anywhere between 11:30PM to midnight. The suspect is not assumed to have prior criminal history, and Sgt. Roland Chavez of the Portland Police Department explains that police do not believe this was a hate crime.
“That’s what makes the danger of it — these are just two complete strangers,” he said. “It could have been any other person and that’s what makes it scary for the public.”
After testing DNA and fingerprints, and narrowing down a list of 250 potential suspects, police have one primary suspect, who is currently incarcerated in another state. No arrests have been made.
“You wish you could expedite things but … you’ve got to let it take its course and get it right,” Chavez said to NBC, “ultimately, she’s just victimized again if we can’t make a solid case.”
Chapa planned to place flowers on the site of her girlfriend’s attack on the anniversary of the tragedy, and that night still haunts her.
She told NBC News: “There are still times where I find myself scared, wondering if they’re going to come after me. I’m always looking around, seeing if I recognize anyone.”
Chapa’s parents did not know about her sexuality prior to the attacks on June 23rd. Chapa has regrets about the fight they got into that night — Olgin wanted to meet Chapa’s family, who at the time did not know that she was a lesbian.
Chapa knows that she has proved a lot of people wrong after her shooting, “the doctors who didn’t think I was going to make it and the guy who tried to kill me.”
The thought of Olgin never leaves Chapa’s mind. “Every day I think about her,’ Chapa said. ‘I pray for her, just for her to watch over me.”
Chapa’s family has also set up a donation fund to help cover her medical costs, here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/127673