An 18-year-old Filipino-American woman was one of the victims of the shooting that occurred in Thousand Oaks, California yesterday.
Alaina Housley was in Borderline Bar & Grill with a group of friends from Pepperdine University when the incident occurred, ABC Action News reported. According to the same report, Alaina was a freshman in the university and was in the bar with 15 other students.
Alaina’s mother was identified as Filipino Hannah Punzalan Housley, ABS-CBN’s Balitang America reported.
According to the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, the Consulate General in California is in touch with authorities to check if other Filipinos were present during the shooting. The department also sent their condolences to Alaina’s family in a statement.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expresses its deepest condolences to the family of Alaina Punzalan Housley,” it reads.
Alaina is the niece of U.S. actress Tamera Mowry-Housley. The actress and her husband journalist Adam Housley took to social media to seek help and prayers when they found out that the student was missing.
After hours of searching, Adam tweeted a statement from Alaina’s family confirming her death.
“Words can’t describe our grief over losing our daughter, Alaina. She was everything we could hope for in a child: kind, smart, beautiful and respectful,” the statement reads.
My brother Arik and his wife Hannah and my nephew Alex are some of the best people you’ll ever meet. They and Alaina are some of the most generous people in the world…and love their Napa community. This is from them…. pic.twitter.com/y2kyFKfnoO
— Adam Housley (@adamhousley) November 9, 2018
In the tweet that accompanied the statement, Adam wrote: “My brother Arik and his wife Hannah and my nephew Alex are some of the best people you’ll ever meet. They and Alaina are some of the most generous people in the world…and love their Napa community. This is from them….”
His wife, Mowry-Housley also shared a photo of Alaina on her Instagram and said:
“Alaina. My sweet, sweet Alaina. My heart breaks. I’m still in disbelief. It’s not fair how you were taken and how soon you were taken from us.
“I was blessed to know you ever since you were 5. You stole my heart. I will miss our inside jokes, us serenading at the piano.
“Thank you for being patient with me learning how to braid your hair, and I will never forget our duet singing the national anthem at Napa’s soccer game.
“I love you. I love you. I love you. You are gonna make one gorgeous angel. My heart and prayers are with every victim of this tragedy.”
Police identified the gunman as Ian David Long a 28-year-old Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, CNN reported.
He was already in the police’s radar as early as April when they were alerted about his irrational behavior. Authorities went to his home and a mental health specialist thought he might have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but he was cleared. The team decided not to detain him.
At least 200 people were inside the bar when Long opened fire yesterday, the BBC reported. He was reportedly wearing all black and went inside the establishment after shooting the bouncer; he threw a grenade before he started shooting, the same report states.
He had a legally owned .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, which is illegal in California.
The incident led to the deaths of 12 people and injured at least eight others. Long appeared to have shot himself and was found dead inside the bar, The Washington Post reported.
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