The daughter of a Florida deputy, who was a standout student and an amazing athlete, was among those killed inside Robb Elementary School earlier this week.
Like many parents, Uvalde County Sheriffs Deputy Felix Rubio and his wife, Kimberly Rubio, joined their daughter Lexi to celebrate students’ accomplishments during a year-end ceremony held Tuesday. Their 10-year-old was recognized for getting straight-A’s, and she also earned a good citizenship award, her parents told CNN.
“We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school,” Kimberly Rubio wrote in a post on Facebook. “We had no idea this was goodbye.”
Just hours later, Lexi’s father found himself racing back to the Uvalde primary school to investigate reports of an active shooter. He later learned his daughter was one of 21 people fatally shot in the carnage, allegedly carried out by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. But Rubio does not want Lexi to reduced to a statistic, and instead demanded change and stricter gun control legislation in her honor.
“All I can hope is that she’s just not a number,” he said through tears. “This is enough. No one else needs to go through this. We never needed to go through this, but we are.”
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Lexi was a member of the Spurs, a girls’ basketball team that won a local championship back in March, the Washington Post reported. She also loved softball and dreamed of becoming a lawyer, just like her mother.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a press conference on Wednesday acknowledged the pain felt among the community, including that of the Rubio family.
“One deputy sheriff lost a daughter in that school,” Abbott said.
“The entire community is in utter shock about this,” he continued. “Some physical wounds that were sustained by the officers — they’re going to heal in the coming days. The mental and emotional wounds are far harder to see and last far longer.”
Authorities said Ramos, armed and sporting a tactical vest, burst into the school and then barricaded himself inside a packed classroom.
Lt. Chris Olivarez from the Texas Department of Public Safety said the shooter entered the room around 11:30 a.m., “locked the door, and just started shooting children and the two teachers” inside.
In addition to the 21 people killed on Tuesday, another 17 others sustained injuries, including three deputies. The attack is the second deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in 2012.