Tamera Mowry-Housley tearfully addressed the death of her niece, who was one of the victims of a mass shooting at a California bar earlier this month, as she returned to television for the first time since the attack.
Mowry-Housley and her husband, journalist Adam Housley, took to social media earlier this month to ask for help locating their niece Alaina Housley, who at the time was missing after last being seen at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. The couple later released a heartfelt statement confirming that Alaina, an 18-year-old freshman at Pepperdine University, was among the 12 people killed when gunman Ian David Long opened fire inside the bar on Nov.7 before turning the gun on himself.
Mowry-Housley returned to her position as a co-host on the daytime talk show “The Real” on Monday, where she talked about the passing of her niece and called for change within the country.
“Our family’s been through a lot, but the interesting thing about grief is that you’ve gotta find the balance of moving forward and grieving at the same time,” Mowry-Housley said. “It’s just been a little over two weeks. She would want me to be here, and she would want me, sweet Alaina, to move forward.”
“I don’t like to say move on, because I don’t think I’ll ever move on with the fact that she’s not here with me or with our family, but she would want me to move forward, and use her voice as a catalyst for change, and that’s why I’m here today,” she said.
Alaina Housley had gone to the Borderline Bar & Grill with a group of friends on the fateful night. While two in her group managed to escape the chaos by exiting the building through a broken window, Alaina was missing the following morning, and her Apple Watch and iPhone still listed the bar as her location, Adam Housley told the Los Angeles Times. The Housleys later confirmed that their worst fears had come to pass: Alaina was one of a dozen who’d been killed that night.
Mowry-Housley used her platform Monday to draw attention to the ongoing problem of gun violence, in honor of her slain niece.
“We need change when it comes to gun violence, and I don’t care if I have to knock on the doors of the White House to do it, to advocate change,” she said.
“Alaina was very sweet and loving and kind. She was also a debater, so she would want me to debate that. But also, I believe that it starts from within,” she went on. “Our country, and it’s sad to say this, but you have to be living underneath a rock to not believe these words, our country is sick. It’s diseased. It needs healing. It needs healing from within. We’re so divided. We should never have to fight for the safety of our children.”
Mowry-Housley considered Alaina, her niece by marriage, a friend and sister “from [her] heart.”
“When Alaina would walk in a room, she would change the atmosphere,” Mowry-Housley said.
Following Alaina’s death, the Housley family launched a foundation, Alaina’s Voice, to promote change in her honor.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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