THOUSAND OAKS, CA — A day of mourning carried on into the cold windy evening, as Thousand Oaks commemorated the 12 lives lost in gun violence.Thousands showed up at the civic center to pay tribute to the dozen casualties, including Filipino American Pepperdine University freshman Alaina Housley.
Housely, who grew up in Napa, had just begun college.Vintage High School honored her with a vigil last night.Her grandfather Ernesto Punzalan’s says Alaina’s mother, Hannah, told them early Thursday morning that Alaina was at the Borderline Grill and was unaccounted for. They found out the worst on Thursday afternoon.Alaina’s grandparents — who live two hours away in Riverside — were counting down the days for when they can watch her perform for her glee club. They haven’t seen her since April at her high school graduation.“We are supposed to see her during the recital of their glee club singing group in Pepperdine this month, at the end of the month. It’s very unfortunate she played piano and violin,” said Ernesto Punzalan.In a statement, her father Arik Housely said she was everything they could hope for in a child, and they want to focus on Alain on how she lived her life.Her grandfather Ernesto Punzalan has fond memories of Alaina, who followed her parents’ footsteps by attending Pepperdine.“She’s a nice girl, she’s academically extraordinary, she’s involved in all school activities, and athletics also academic and class activities extracurricular activities.”As Alaina’s family and friends remember her, those mourning at the vigil urged lawmakers to once again look into gun control.Her father added that Alaina who was on the debate team would have enjoyed the public debate and would have insisted that it would be respectful with an eye toward solving these public shootings.Among the other victims a Ventura County sheriff sergeant, a survivor of last year’s Las Vegas massacre, a Marine veteran, several college students from the area, and the workers at the Borderline.Investigators are now trying to determine The motivation of the gunman, former marine 29-year-old Ian Long.Long, who used a modified glock, was believed to show signs of PTSD after returning home from Afghanistan.He’s believed to have shot himself after killing the twelve people.If there is a silver lining to these tragedies, it shows how communities come together, from blood drives, to the schools providing counseling and opening its doors for prayer, to the overflow of love and support during the darkest of days.