Diaspora News

Fil-Am community still in shock over last Wednesday’s mass shooting

By Abner Galino

Alaina Housley. Photo by Napa Valley Register

THE Filipino community in Los Angles is still in shock over last Wednesday’s mass shooting in a bar in Thousand Oaks where a Fil-American college novice was among those who died.

In a phone interview, Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, Adel S. Cruz, expressed sadness over the death of Alaina Housley, 18, a resident of Napa Valley. He said the news has devastated Filipino Americans even more, as they try to absorb the news of the senseless death of 12 people.

Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz Photo © Philippine Consulate General Los Angeles California

Cruz said he has talked to Housley’s grandfather, Ernie Punzalan, who lives in a valley around Los Angeles.

I told him that the Philippine Consulate General is ready to assist and help in whatever way possible,” Cruz said.

Earlier in his Facebook post, Cruz expressed shock and sadness over what he called “senseless and brutal mass shootings in Thousand Oaks, California.”

My deepest condolences and prayers to her family and the families of the other victims of this tragedy.”

To drive home a point, Cruz also sent to local media entities a link to the “Gun Violence Archive” at www. Gunviolencearchive.org The site seeks to provide free online access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States.

Meanwhile, former executive at the Philippine Department of Tourism in Los Angeles Manny Ilagan, broke the news of Housley’s death to the Filipino American community through a post in his Facebook page.

So Sorry to be the bearer of a heartbreaking news — One of the victims in the Thousand Oaks shooting incident is a grandchild of a family friend Fil Am couple,” wrote Ilagan in his post.

Ilagan added that Alaina was the daughter of Hannah Punzalan and Arik Housley, and grandchild of Ernesto and Leticia Punzalan.

Alaina was the niece of host Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley.

“I was blessed to know you ever since you were five. You stole my heart,” the TV personality wrote in her Instagram account.

“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.”

Alaina started at the Pepperdine University in August. She was a resident of DeBell house, an English major involved with the Pepperdine Choir and was starting Mock Trial.

Thousand Oaks is situated 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Suspected gunman Ian David Long. Photo by Sky News

Reports said a 28-year-old US Marine veteran Ian David Long entered the Borderline Grill and Bar at about 11 pm on Wednesday night (November 7) where a “college night” was being held.

Armed with a Glock .45 caliber pistol, Long went inside the bar at started shooting at people. He killed 12 people, including a Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus.

Helus was on the phone talking to his wife when he heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene.

About 200 people were believed to be in the country music bar during the shooting, many of them students from nearby colleges.


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Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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