Uvalde in Their Own Words: Mom battling crushing grief presses for gun reform

Kim Rubio, a journalist, lost her 10-year-old daughter, Lexi.

ByEmily Shapiro, Kate Holland, Megan Streete, and Andrew Fredericks
May 22, 2023, 6:07 AM

Kim Rubio's 10-year-old daughter, Lexi, was among the 19 children and two teachers killed in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school mass shooting.

As she pushed through a year of crushing grief, Rubio, a journalist and a mother of five, obtained her degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and became an outspoken advocate for gun reform.

Uvalde:365 is a continuing ABC News series reported from Uvalde and focused on the Texas community and how it forges on in the shadow of tragedy.

I want to save lives. I want to save other moms from going through this pain. And I also want Lexi's name attributed to change. I want her to be remembered for more than just how she died.

Tears run down Kimberly Rubio's face while speaking about her daughter, Lexi, at a rally demanding the Senate pass an assault weapons ban, Sept. 22, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Allison Bailey/SOPA/Sipa USA via AP, FILE

She's intelligent, she's athletic, she is witty, she's beautiful ... but there's so much more. ... When somebody asks me, "How would you describe Lexi?" A million different memories flash in my mind. How do you describe that to the world? How do I just put that in a box to share?

I think it's terrifying to encounter other mothers who have also lost children to gun violence, because their pain is just so evident still. And it's just a harsh reality to realize that it just will never get any better. I think people assume it does. I think this kind of pain never goes away.

Four mothers who lost their daughters in the Robb Elementary school shooting look at a memorial mural of Lexi Rubio.
ABC News

One thing I loved about Uvalde was that it was safe, it felt very safe. And I'm sure that there's a lot of people that feel that way about the town that they're living in. And this still happened. And it can happen again -- it will happen again.

I just hope that the words resonate and people join this fight, because it's gonna take all of us.

Interviews have been condensed for length.