LOS ANGELES – Alaina Housley, 18, a Filipino freshman from Pepperdine University, was among 13 people killed, including the shooter, in a mass shootout Wednesday night at a popular bar in Thousand Oaks, California.
Housley's Filipino grandparents are still in shock with his sudden death. "We still could not believe it," Ernesto Punzalan told INQUIRER.net. Punzalan is a retired 78-year-old industrial engineer from Orion, Bataan.
Alaina's mother, Hannah Punzalan-Housley, is the youngest daughter of Punzalan and his wife, Leticia, a 77-year-old retired nurse from Balayan, Batangas. Hannah, is the director of activities at Vintage High School, where Alaina graduated. Hannah's husband, Arik, owns the Ranch Market in Napa, Ranch Market Too in Yountville and co-owner of Il Posto Trattoria in Napa.
"(Alaina) was a very sweet girl," said Punzalan.
Punzalan said he and his wife used to take care of Alaina and watched as she grew up and became a young "beautiful, intelligent and very kind."
He said that Alaina loved music and learned to play piano and violin since she was in kindergarten.
Punzalan thought Alaina might have inherited her love for the music of her grandmother, Leticia, who sang in the choir of St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Corona, California.
The Punzalan couple were planning to attend Alaina's Glee Club recital on November 28 at Pepperdine University, where she was a freshman in college. Instead, they will be attending a campus vigil, scheduled on Friday, honoring Alaina's life.
Alaina and 11 others were killed on Wednesday night, when a gunman, later identified as Navy veteran Ian David Long, opened fire on the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, about 65 miles Los Angeles. The victims included a sheriff's deputy who responded to the shooting.
The bar was supposed to host a college night for country music fans.
"(Alaina) was there with a group of friends. From what we heard, she got tired of dancing, left the dance floor and sat down to rest. That was when the shooting started, "said Punzalan.
"Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of us and we were devastated that her life was interrupted that way," said Alaina's paternal uncle, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley and his wife, actress Tamera Mowry -Housley. in a statement.
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