Community remembers Thousand Oaks shooting victim, 18-year-old Alaina Housley
NAPA, CALIFORNIA — Signs hung on Memorial Stadium in Napa for 18-year-old Fil-Am Alaina Housley, one of the 12 people killed in a mass shooting Wednesday at a western bar in Thousand Oaks.
The Borderline bar shooting became the 307th mass shooting in the U.S. this year.
Joining hundreds of people from the community — Alaina’s friends remembered her and called for an end to gun violence.
“Alaina was a once-in-a-lifetime friend,” said her friend Taylor Bragg. “It makes me so mad that someone took her smile away. But I think she will still change the world. Her impact is here in every single one of us here. We need to fight for Alaina. We need to fight for the 11 other people that lost their lives last week. And we need to fight for every single person affected by gun violence.”
“Alaina had that unique ability to walk in a room full strangers and walk out with a room full of friends. She touched the lives of everyone she met, making people feel loved and appreciated wherever she went,” said friend Bailey Stone.
Congressman Mike Thompson — chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force — praised the students for their efforts.
“Our student leaders, they figured it out. They understand this problem. And they’re stepping up to do something about it.”
Alaina’s father, Arik, had a somewhat different message.
“This is not about gun control to us. This is about being nice to one another. What’s missing is that we need to put our phones down and look at your parents. Say hello. Enjoy time with them because it’s gone before you know it.”
Following the memorial, hundreds of people took part in a two-mile march in memory of Alaina and other victims of gun violence.
Her parents plan to create a foundation called “Alaina’s Voice.”