A Filipino-American college freshman was one of the 12 victims of a mass shooting in a bar in California early on Friday.
Alaina Punzalan Housley, an 18-year-old freshman student at Pepperdine University, was one of those fatally shot when a veteran United States marine Ian David Long opened fire at Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks, California, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
Ten more customers of the bar were injured.
Long was seen throwing smoke grenades after storming into the bar. He is believed to have targeted teenage customers of the bar, firing with a .45 caliber pistol.
Authorities believe that he suffered from post-traumatic-stress disorder as he had multiple run-ins with law enforcement in the past.
Many have expressed their grief for the passing of Housley and the other victims of the tragedy.
“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,” said television host Tamera Mowry-Housley, Alaina’s aunt.
The DFA is still monitoring whether there are reports of other Filipinos or Filipino-Americans involved in the incident.
Gun violence in the United States
Mass shootings remain one of the biggest security concerns in the United States. At least 68 people have reportedly died from mass shootings in 2018.
The rising incidence of mass shooting as well as rising number of deaths attributed to gun violence has led to calls for stricter gun control laws in the country.
Housley is not the first Filipino-American mass shooting victim this year. Carmen Schentrup, a senior high school student whose grandmother was a native of Zambales, was among the 17 students killed when a former student stormed Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle in March 2018.
Her brother Robert has been one of those who have led the calls for stricter gun measures in the U.S since the shooting.