Family of girl, 10, killed in Uvalde school shooting refuse to appear with Gov Abbott

‘My Lexi doesn’t even like him,’ said 10-year-old’s mother

The mother and father of a Uvalde school shooting victim have refused to speak with Texas Governor Greg Abbott over his support for guns.

Kimberly and Felix Rubio refused to meet Mr Abbott on Wednesday after their 10-year-old daughter Lexi was among the 19 children killed by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School.

“My first thought was, ‘My Lexi doesn’t even like him,’” Ms Rubio told The New York Times. “She was really little, but we talked about this stuff at home.”

Remarks made by Mr Abbott on Wednesday, in which he suggested the Uvalde shooter’s mental health was to blame for the attack – rather than the apparent availability of guns in Texas – also angered the Rubios.

“We live in this really small town in this red state, and everyone keeps telling us, you know, that it’s not the time to be political, but it is — it is,” said Lexi’s mother. “Don’t let this happen to anybody else.”

Mr Rubio said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that even though he is a Sheriff’s Deputy in Uvalde he wanted tighter gun control laws because nobody else should have to experience their loss.

“I’m a cop,” he said. “I’m a deputy here in Uvalde County and this isn’t enough, no-one else has to go through this, we didn’t really need to go through this but we are”.

On Friday, Mr Abbott cancelled a planned appearance at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting, and will instead address gun lobbyists via a video link because of pressure not to attend.

Mr Abbott – like Republicans elsewhere – has refused to introduce tougher gun laws in his state, where eight mass shootings have occurred in the past 13 years.

Other Republicans, including Texas senator Ted Cruz, have suggested that fewer doors could stop shootings from happening and have also ignored calls for greater restrictions on guns.

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