The couple in happier times

LGBT rights groups have expressed their sadness and concern at news that a teenage lesbian couple were shot and left for dead in Portland, Texas.

Mary Kristene Chapa (18) and Mollie Judith Olgin (19) were found lying in tall grass in a park on Saturday. It is believed that they had been shot nine hours earlier.

The shooting claimed the life of Olgin while Chapa remains in a serious but stable condition following emergency surgery. Friends said that the young women had been dating for about five months.

“Mollie touched the lives of everyone and will always be remembered for her intelligence, beauty, compassion, humour and her kind heart,” her family wrote in an obituary.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear. Police hope to interview Chapa, who is said to be able to communicate, about the attack.

LGBT rights groups said that they were monitoring developments to ensure that the authorities took quick and effective action.

“Regardless of the motivation behind this tragedy, we must send a strong message that violence against anyone is never acceptable,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.

“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 also called for “a swift and thorough investigation of this crime”.

A candlelight walk and vigil will be held for the two women on Friday in Portland.

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