At age 18, Alaina Housley was the youngest victim of last week’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Hours after a gunman opened fire at Southern California’s Borderline bar in the early hours of Nov. 8, Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, took to social media to document their frantic search for their niece who was missing after attending the bar’s college night with friends. That afternoon, it was revealed to much heartbreak that she was one of the 12 victims in the attack.
“My sweet, sweet Alaina. My heart breaks. I’m still in disbelief,” Mowry-Housley wrote on Instagram, sharing photos of the Pepperdine freshman. “It’s not fair how you were taken and how soon you were taken from us. I was blessed to know you ever since you were 5. You stole my heart. 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. I love you. I love you. I love you. You are gonna make one gorgeous angel. My heart and prayers are with every victim of this tragedy.”
On Monday (Nov. 12), Mowry-Housley was absent from The Real, the syndicated talk show she co-hosts, but her fellow hosts read her social media post aloud during an on-air tribute to Alaina Housley. Loni Love, joined by Adrienne Houghton and Jeannie Mai, also shed light on Tamera Mowry-Housley and Adam Housley’s hours while Alaina Housley was missing, detailing how her co-host called “every hospital she could because we were holding out hope that maybe she was at the hospital… the hotline, everything.”
Love, who was with the Houselys in the middle of the night, shared that they eventually learned that Alaina Housley was at the popular night for young country music fans and that, while her friends were line-dancing on the dance floor, Alaina Housley went to go sit down at a table. It was “just a matter of seconds.” The friends escaped through the window and didn’t know what had happened to Alaina Housley until ultimately learning her fate later in the afternoon.
Reading a note from Alaina Housley’s immediate family, Love said “she would have enjoyed the public debate that is certain to happen after this tragedy and that she would have insisted to be respectful with every eye towards solving these senseless shootings.”
Earlier on Monday, Tamera Mowry-Housley and Adam Housley appeared with Alaina Housley’s father, Arik, CBS This Morning. “We don’t believe that her voice will die. We believe that there is a message that’s out there,” said Arik Housley, adding that his daughter’s body has been returned to her hometown in Napa. “To us, it’s to be kind to one another. It’s to put down your technology, put down your phones and look at somebody and have a conversation. It’s not about gun control; this message is about doing something bigger, to be with your community, to love one another.”
Adam Housley added, “To get to the point where we can have a conversation about anything political, it has to start here [points to heart]. It has to start with the soul, because we’ve lost that.” His wife added, “Yes, there needs to be a change. But all the noise? Nothing’s been done.”
Meanwhile, Adam Housley has been taking to Twitter to post and recirculate posts supporting an end to partisan talks in wake of another senseless shooting with the hashtag #alainasvoice. Houghton also read a message from Adam Housley on Monday’s The Real, encouraging viewers to educate themselves with state and federal gun laws. “We are going to make a change, I can guarantee it, and Alaina is with us as we do this,” she read from her uncle, who was also her godfather.
Alaina. My sweet, sweet Alaina. My heart breaks. I’m still in disbelief. It’s not fair how you were taken and how soon you were taken from us. I was blessed to know you ever since you were 5. You stole my heart. 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. I love you. I love you. I love you. You are gonna make one gorgeous angel. My heart and prayers are with every victim of this tragedy.
This article originally appeared on THR.com.