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“These mother cries that I will never get out of my head”

Felix Rubio and Kimberly Mata-Rubio attended a ceremony honoring their 10-year-old daughter Lexi at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. Lexi received a good citizen award and accolades for earning all A grades in her classes. .

Her parents did not expect their daughter to die later that day when a gunman opened fire inside the school.

“This photo, her last photo, was taken around 10:54 a.m. To celebrate, we promised to bring her ice cream that night. We told her we loved her and that we would pick her up after school. . I can still see her, walking with us towards the exit. In the reel that continues to scroll through my memories, she turns her head and smiles at us to acknowledge my promise. And then we left, ”Kimberly Mata-Rubio told the lawmakers during a House hearing on gun violence.

“I left my daughter at this school, and this decision will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said tearfully.

She then returned to work at the Uvalde Leader-News and heard of a shooting on the police scanner.

The parents discovered that their son was safe, but they could not find their daughter. Felix Rubio is a patrol deputy with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office.

“We focused on finding Lexi. Bus after bus arrived. But she was not on board. We heard there were children at the local hospital, so we drove to provide her description. She was not there.
My dad drove an hour and a half to San Antonio, to check in with University Hospital. At this point, part of me must have realized that she was gone. Amidst the chaos, I felt like going back to Robb. We didn’t have our car at this point. Traffic was everywhere. So I ran. I ran, barefoot, with my flimsy sandals in my hand. I ran a mile, to school, my husband with me.
We sat outside for a while before it became clear that we won’t be getting a response from law enforcement on site,” she said.

Back in Uvalde, they found their daughter had been killed.

“We don’t want you to think of Lexi as just a number. She was smart, compassionate and athletic. She was quiet, shy – unless she had a point to make. When she found out that she was right, as she so often was, she held her ground. She was firm, direct, with an unwavering voice,” Mata-Rubio said.

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