CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Today marks a devastating anniversary for the Coastal Bend and one of its most resilient residents.
On June 22, 2012, a horrific attack took place at a Portland park. Kristene Chapa and her girlfriend, Mollie Olgin, were brutally assaulted and both were shot in the head and left for dead.
Chapa, the sole survivor, made a miraculous recovery.
Assumed to be a hate crime, the case resulted in public outrage and vigils for the LGBTQ+ community. Chapa has since dedicated herself to educating others on recovery and survival.
"It still feels like yesterday that this had happened and it's just a constant battle. I'll never be the same again," Chapa said.
Chapa's story of survival, strength and resilience, as well as the memory of Olgin, will be the focus of a new documentary.
"Talking about the attack, it does trigger me, but I know that talking about it too can help others," Chapa previously told 3NEWS, and explained that over the years, that being accessible and communicative with other survivors of gun violence and sexual assault has become a personal priority for her.
"A bunch of people will message me and they're always surprised that I always message everyone back. I want them to know that they're not alone and they're loved and to never give up."
Chapa recently shared there are some exciting things happening in her life: her recent engagement to now fiancé and a key player in her support system, Alondra Nevares, a new book that's in the works, and that she's currently studying at Texas A&M Kingsville to become a speech therapist with a goal to graduate in a couple of years.
"I just want to help others in any way that I'm able," said Chapa.
She spoke with TAMU-K Police Chief, Julian Cavazos about how they can help students like her feel safe on campus.
"And again, it's cause we can't force them to and we want to make sure that the victim is comfortable in speaking about what occurred, and that way we can move forward," Cavazos said.
Chapa needed speech therapy after the shooting and is now studying the same thing as a student. She said no matter how difficult some days can be, she wants to show others she won't let her past deter her future.
"I just want to inspire and then push people to keep moving forward," Chapa said. "I know it's, you know people, everybody has their good and bad days and I just remind myself that I'm human and it's ok to not be ok."
The target release date for the documentary, directed by Charlie Minn, will be in the fall, either September or October.
David Strickland was convicted of the crimes back in 2016 and sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole.
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