Borderline shooting 1 year anniversary: Alaina Housley honored at Pepperdine, remembered as joyful, elegant

MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- Pepperdine student Alaina Housley was the youngest of the 12 victims who lost their lives during the Borderline shooting one year ago. Her parents want others to remember Alaina as they did - as someone who brought joy and elegance to the world.

"We were blessed with Alaina Maria Housley for 18 years, and we'll feel her forever," said Hannah Housley, Alaina's mother.

For Hannah and her husband Arik Housley, the pain is still fresh one year later.

"We are living day by day. Sometimes good, and sometimes hard," Hannah said.

"It's our new normal," said Arik.

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Thursday at Pepperdine University, where Alaina was a student and where her parents first met, an olive tree was dedicated in Alaina's beloved memory.

Her parents say they want everyone will come to know Alaina as they did.

"Her wisdom and her knowledge, her intelligence," Hannah said.

Alaina was a force that still stops them in their tracks to this day.

"It rocked, it rocked our world," Hannah said.

The Pepperdine Chapel was the first place they visited when they heard the awful news.

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It's been a year of physical and spiritual healing for Wendy Sparks, whose daughter Noel was killed last year in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill.

"I knew this is where I needed to be when we heard. And it was, this is a refuge. It's a refuge for us," Hannah said.

Alaina's parents are hoping to make a change with the Alaina's Voice Foundation, hoping to prevent others to falling victim to gun violence, as their daughter and 11 others did last year. They're proceeding through their new normal with an attitude that might surprise you.

"She was in the right place at the right time when evil walked in. We can't say she was in the wrong place or this was unlucky or something of that sort. So that's how we've tried to look at it from the beginning," Arik said.

"We know that this life that we're living, because we're here and living, is that we have to work through what that looks like," Hanna said.

Alaina's parents said they didn't want to pray that someone else's child had been the victim and not their own. They also said they relied on their faith and the community of people around them who had supported them in keeping them going. And now, Alaina's memory and legacy will live on forever at Pepperdine.
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