Eighteen-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa is making “exceptional progress” as she recovers from the gunshot wound she sustained in a June 22 attack at a Portland, Texas park that left her girlfriend dead.
Portland police Chief Randy Wright announced in a statement Saturday that Chapa’s sight and speech have improved to the point that she requested to meet for a second time with a sketch artist to revise a previous drawing they made of the suspect.
Chapa and her girlfriend, 19-year-old Mollie Olgin, were both shot in the head by an unknown assailant June 22 at Violet Andrews Park in Portland, a suburb of Corpus Christi. Olgin died at the scene, and Wright said Saturday that Chapa “wants very badly to identify Mollie’s murderer.”
“It is unusual to go back and refine a suspect drawing,” Wright said in a press statement accompanying the revised drawing of the suspect (shown at right). “But in this case, our eyewitness sustained a brain injury that initially affected her ability to communicate effectively. The good news is she has made exceptional progress. Her sight and speech have improved and she can now interact with the artist much better. She asked to refine the drawing and the Texas Rangers artist agreed.”
Despite the new drawing, police said the description of the suspect hasn’t changed. He is described as a white male in his 20s, 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a thin build, weighing 140 pounds, with brown hair and a scruffy beard. Anyone with information should call the Portland Police Department at 361-777-4444. Reports may be made anonymously.
The shooting of Olgin and Chapa prompted vigils organized by the LGBT community across the country, including in Dallas. Despite widespread speculation among LGBT advocates, police say they have no reason to believe the shooting was a hate crime. However, they have not publicly identified another motive.
Read Saturday’s full press statement below.
UPDATE: NBC Latino reports that Chapa has left the hospital and is now in rehab.