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Tamera Mowry-Housley and husband say niece died in 'senseless' Thousand Oaks shooting  3 Days ago

Source:   USA Today  

A California shooting left "The Real" host and "Sister, Sister" star Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband, Adam Housley, devastated after they discovered their 18-year-old niece Alaina Housley was one of the victims.

Mowry-Housley reminisced about old times with her "sweet, sweet Alaina" on Instagram, sharing a series of pictures of her niece.

"I was blessed to know you ever since you were 5. You stole my heart," the TV personality wrote. "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."

She continued: "I'm still in disbelief. It’s not fair how you were taken…You are gonna make one gorgeous angel."

Housley also paid tribute to his "sweet, sweet" niece on the picture-sharing site. 

"Oh how I miss you. Oh how I miss u," he wrote, "#heartbroken".

Alaina, a freshman at Pepperdine University (Housley's alma mater), had gone to the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, to line dance with friends Wednesday night. She was one of 12 people killed in the mass shooting after a gunman opened fire inside the country music dance bar about 40 miles west of Los Angeles. 

Former Fox News correspondent Housley described his goddaughter to Entertainment Tonight as a "really good girl" and "good human being," adding that her death is "just senseless." Alaina is the daughter of his brother, Arik Housley and wife Hannah Housley.

Housley took to his Twitter page to post a statement on behalf of her parents.

"Words can't describe our grief over losing our daughter… She was everything we could hope for in a child: kind, smart, beautiful and respectful," the statement began. "We want to honor Alaina by focusing on how she lived her life. She would have enjoyed the public debate that is certain to happen after this tragedy. But she would have insisted that it be respectful with an eye toward solving these senseless shootings."

Her parents continued: "We send our condolences to the family and friends of the other victims. We especially thank Sgt. Ron Helus' family for their sacrifice." 

A statement issued to USA TODAY on behalf of the Mowry-Housley family confirmed their niece's death. 

"Our hearts are broken. We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks," the couple stated via their joint representative, Chantal Artur. "Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her, and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time."

At Vintage High School, Housley was an honors student who played on the varsity soccer team and served in student government all four years before graduating in June. 

Vintage High School principal Sarah O'Connor remembered her as a "natural leader and connector," who was loved by her peers and the school staff. "One of my favorite moments was when Alaina, who played violin in our orchestra, had all of the violinists play 'Happy Birthday' for her mom one year. Her mom is an employee here," O'Connor told USA TODAY. 

Housely adds that Alaina was "excited to go to Italy for a program overseas" before her death. 

Mowry-Housley's twin and "Sister, Sister" co-star, Tia Mowry, took to Twitter to share the family's agony: "Our sweet Alaina Housely is gone. We love you. We are devastated."

Related: Young people with 'so much life ahead' of them: These are the Thousand Oaks victims

Sharing the same photo of Alaina as her brother-in-law to Instagram, Mowry shared: "We are broken. Our hearts are broken. We love you."

Mowry-Housley's talk show "The Real" tweeted condolences.

"We send all our love and our deepest condolences to the Housleys, our family, during this difficult time."

The co-stars joined their colleague in her mourning.

"Unfortunately Alaina was one of the victims in the mass shooting.. please keep The Housley’s in your prayers at this time," Loni Love wrote when sharing a photo of Alaina on Instagram. "Positive thoughts and prayers to all the families right now waiting to hear about their loved ones from the #borderlinemassshooting"

Jeannie Mai recalled a conversation with her co-anchor on Instagram, after learning her niece was unaccounted for.

" 'I'm gonna keep praying Jeannie. I've called every hospital ten times...maybe she's just unconscious. She could have escaped the shooting and is just without her phone. Keep praying, ' Tam tells me before she hangs up this morning," Mai remembered, sharing a photo of Alaina. "Hours later, the devastating news is confirmed.

"I will never forget the sound of my friend's despair, how her cries amplified the anguish surrounding every family of the 12 victims murdered," Mai continued. "In 2018, there has been a total of 307 mass shootings in America. And tonight, I feel the reverberating sorrow of every friend and family member affected by the horrific, senseless nightmare that is gun violence."

Earlier Thursday, Alaina's aunt and uncle took to social media to frantically look for her.

Responding to a tweet about a person's missing suitemate, Mowry-Housley wrote, "This is her aunt Tamera Mowry Housley. Can you please DM me your information?"

The suitemate tweeted that she'd been in contact with "Adam" and that their niece, Alaina Housley, was the only one out of "a handful of girls (who) went to line dance tonight" who were unaccounted for.

Housley asked his nearly 100,000 Twitter followers for prayers: "Please pray if you believe....pray" for his niece, whom he described as "a beautiful soul."

Los Angeles Times reporter Andrea Castillo shared on Twitter that Housley visited the Los Robles Regional Medical Center looking for his niece. He also stopped by the bar in hopes of finding her, ET! reported. 

"A guard didn’t let him through, saying (the hospital) was on lockdown," Castillo, who was at the hospital, tweeted. "He said Alaina, a Pepperdine freshman, was at the bar with several friends. Her Apple Watch and iPhone still showed her location on the dance floor."

Castillo tweeted, "Housley said two of Alaina’s suite mates jumped through a broken window to escape and are at a hospital with major glass wounds. As they ran away from the bar, someone screamed 'Hey! Get the (expletive) down on the ground!' They told Housley they believe it was the gunman."

"But they kept running toward houses near Los Robles Greens golf course, where they got help from residents," Castillo wrote.

Housley told the LA Times he feared the worst.

“My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead,” he said. “I’m hoping I’m wrong.”

At 10:34 a.m. EST, Housley updated his followers that he had heard "nothing" about his niece, as his wife noted on her Twitter account, "We haven’t found her yet. It’s been 7 hrs since the shooting."

Later Thursday morning, Housley took his grief to Facebook. "I really don’t know what to say other than I love this girl with all my heart and I’d give my life right now for a miracle," he captioned a photo of his niece.

His wife's twin said she, "Woke up shocked," asking her followers to "Please pray. Please pray. I am numb."

She shared an Instagram photo and asked her followers to share any information they may have. 

"Alaina Housley we are praying. We love u! If you know anything or any information please let us know. We love you! #borderline," Mowry wrote.

Mowry-Housley gushed over her niece on Instagram in March last year.

The actress captioned a close-up of the teen with teased curls and iridescent eye shadow: "My niece Alaina Housley… She now is a Junior in high school doing a photo shoot with a 70's theme. Kill it beauty. Good luck in all your future endeavors."

 

 

 

 

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