Tamera Mowry-Housley pays tribute to niece who died in 2018 mass shooting: 'It still hurts'

Elise Solé
·3 min read

Tamera Mowry-Housley paid loving tribute to her niece Alaina Housley, who died during a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., two years ago.

“There are days I loop my LIVE photos just to get a glimpse of you; your spirit, your smile, your kindness. 2 years without you...it still hurts,” she wrote on Instagram under a video of Alaina, who was 18 at the time of her death. “I miss my Lai Lai. The kids still talk about you and know you are their personal angel. I’ll never forget. Prayers to all those affected by gun violence. And to all the the victims still living with the aftermath of it.”

Tamera Mowry-Housley shared a memory of her niece Alaina Housley, who died in a 2018 mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Tamera Mowry-Housley shared a memory of her niece Alaina Housley, who died in a 2018 mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

On Nov. 7, 2018, a gunman opened fire inside the crowded venue, killing 12 and wounding many more, before shooting himself. Alaina, the niece of Mowry-Housley, 42, and husband Adam Housley, was a freshmen at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles and wanted to become a lawyer.

The Sister Sister star and her husband released a statement after her death: “Our hearts are broken. We just learned that our niece Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks. Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time.”

She also wrote on Instagram, “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.”

After returning to work on The Real, Mowry-Housley spoke of the death on on-air. “She was my niece from marriage, but she was my friend and my sister from my heart...my heart needs a bandage.” One year later, she revealed that she was in grief therapy.

During the pandemic, Mowry-Housley has been home with Adam and their daughter Ariah Talea, 5, and son Aden John Tanner, 7. This month, she told Entertainment Tonight that she hasn’t seen her twin sister Tia Mowry, with whom she starred on the 1990s sitcom Sister Sister, for six months. “But I know for a fact when we see each other we're just, we're gonna cry,” she said.

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