Fil-Am teen among 12 killed in US shooting
Filipino-American college student Alaina Punzalan Housley was among the 12 people killed in the horrific shooting inside a bar in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila), the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles said.
The 18-year-old Housley was a freshman student from Pepperdine University who was among those killed in the shooting incident that occurred inside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles.
The gunman, identified as former US Marine combat veteran Ian David Long, 28, opened fire inside the country-western bar with a Glock 21made .45-caliber handgun, killing at least 11 victims at the scene. Long was also found dead inside the establishment. A responding police sergeant with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department died from the scene after confronting the suspect.
Reports showed that Alaina had gone to the Borderline to line dance with friends. The bar is said to be frequented mostly by young people aged 18 to 22.
As news of the shooting spread, it was also reported that her aunt, “The Real” host and “Sister, Sister” star Tamera Mowry-Housley, frantically scanned the social media to search for her niece.
It was only on Thursday morning, however, when the family learned that Alaina didn’t make it out of the bar alive.
“Our hearts are broken,” the family said in a statement.
“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.”
In her time at the Vintage High School, Alaina was an honor student who joined the school’s varsity soccer team and served in student government in the entire four years before graduating in June.
Her high school alma mater officials remembered Alaina as a “natural leader and connector,” who was loved by her fellow students and the school staff.
Alaina also played violins in the Vintage High School where her mom is an employed.
Consulate General Adel Angelito Cruz said they are continuously monitoring the developments related to the incident and is checking with authorities if there are other members of the 25,879 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in Ventura Country who are among the dead or injured in the incident.
‘SHOOTER ACTED ALONE’
Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles FBI office, said it was too early to speculate on the shooter’s motives but that he appeared to have acted alone.
“We will be sure to paint a picture of the state of mind of the subject and do our best to identify a motivation,” Delacourt said, adding that the FBI would investigate any possible “radicalization” or links to militant groups.
Long was in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2013, reaching the rank of corporal and serving as a machine gunner in Afghanistan, and the sheriff said he may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Obviously, he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this,” Dean said.
HOUSLEY (Instagram @alaina. housleyy)