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Pepperdine students share a moment of prayer on Nov. 8, the day after the Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting, which killed Seaver College student Alaina Housley and 11 other victims. Photos by Ron Hall/Pepperdine University
Nearly 400 Pepperdine students are led in prayer by University Chaplain Sara Barton at a Thursday, Nov. 8 prayer service in Smothers Theatre.
Pepperdine University’s choir sings at the prayer service.
Pepperdine University President Andrew K. Benton addresses the hundreds of students who attended Thursday’s prayer service.
Chaplain Sara Barton leads the university community in prayer.
Lauren Coughlin, Editor
7:05 am PST November 8, 2018

Alaina Housley, a student of Pepperdine’s Seaver College, was among the 12 individuals killed Nov. 7 in a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. 

Housley’s family issued a statement through the university.

“Words can’t describe our grief over losing our daughter, Alaina,” the statement said. “She was everything we could hope for in a child: kind, smart, beautiful and respectful. She continued the family’s tradition of attending Pepperdine University. She was so happy to be a Wave. We are grateful to the Pepperdine community for their support during this difficult time.”

Housley, of Napa, was a freshman who was majoring in English, according to the university. She also was in the Pepperdine choir and was a Regents Scholar. 

“We want to honor Alaina by focusing on how she lived her life,” the family’s statement continues. “She would have enjoyed the public debate that is certain to happen after this tragedy. But she would have insisted that it be respectful with an eye toward solving these senseless shootings.”

Housley is the niece of former senior news correspondent Adam Housley and actress Tamera Mowry-Housley, who issued a joint statement through their representative.

“Our hearts are broken,” the statement read. “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.”

A total of 16 Pepperdine University students were at the bar when a shooter opened fire. An additional two students were transported to the hospital and released, according to the university. 

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies responded to the incident, which occurred around 11:20 p.m.

“University officials have been working on site with law enforcement to confirm their safety and well-being, and our prayers and condolences are with everyone impacted by this senseless act of violence,” Pepperdine wrote in an online post. “At this time, classes will be held as scheduled for [Nov. 8]. Students who need to adjust their class schedules today as a result of yesterday’s event are encouraged to do so.”

A prayer service for the Pepperdine campus community was scheduled for noon Nov. 8 in Smothers Theatre.

The shooter, who has been identified as a U.S. Marine Corps veteran Ian David Long, also is dead, Sheriff Geoff Dean told media. A motive is currently unknown.

One of the victims was identified as Sgt. Ron Helus, a Moorpark resident and 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office for whom a procession is slated to be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 8. Helus, who was the first deputy to arrive on scene, was to be transported via motorcade from Los Robles Regional Medical Center to westbound Janss Road, continuing southbound on Lynn Road to US 101 northbound to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Helus is survived by a wife and son, according to police.

“Ron’s selfless, heroic actions will never be forgotten,” Ventura County police wrote. “Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Another 21 injured victims were treated at area hospitals, according the sheriff’s office.

Anyone looking for information on family and friends may call the Ventura County Joint Information hotline at (805) 465-6650.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office deployed victim services personnel trained in mass casualty incidents to Ventura County to assist survivors, families and first responders.

“When a tragedy of this magnitude befalls a neighbor, it is imperative for us to unite and assist whenever possible,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a prepared statement. “Our great hope is that our victim services personnel can bring compassion and some degree of healing to all of those affected.”