Tamera Mowry, 40, rose to fame in the 90s starring on US sitcom Sister, Sister with her twin Tia Mowry.
The actress and her husband Adam Housley, 40 — a former baseball player and Fox News journalist — have revealed their niece Alaina Housley, 18, was killed in the bar massacre in Thousand Oaks, Southern California, on Wednesday night.
In a joint statement issued to E! News, Tamera and Adam said: “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.”
They added: “We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time.”
Alaina — a first-year student at Pepperdine University — was on a night out with her pals at the Borderline Bar and Grill, famed for its country music and dancing.
While the drinking age is 21 in California, the bar grants admission to people 18+ on Wednesday nights, with under-age revellers receiving a stamp/wristband to identify their age.
The gunman — who killed 12 people, including Alaina and a Sheriff’s sergeant — has been identified by police as US Marine Corps veteran Ian Long, 28.
Ian — who was a PTSD-sufferer — was found dead inside the bar, and is believed to have killed himself as the SWAT team entered.
After learning of the bar shooting Tamera, Adam and several family members took to social media in a desperate attempt to locate Alaina.
In the hours before the victims were identified, Tamera made contact with her niece’s university friend.
“We are devastated that Alaina’s life was cut short in this manner”
Tamera Mowry and Adam Housley
In a message shared on Twitter, a student named Ashley wrote: “My suitemate is still missing, she is wearing denim shorts, a blue flannel [shirt] and sneakers, please let me know if you know anything. Borderline.”
Responding to the message publicly, Tamera — who has 1.76 million followers — wrote: “Ashley, this is her aunt, Tamera Mowry-Housley. Can you please DM me your information?”
In subsequent posts, the former child star wrote: “Was she one of the girls who fled the scene?”
Tamera then asked: “Is she [Alaina] the only one unaccounted for?”
To which Ashley responded: “Yes. All the other girls are safe.”
Meanwhile, Adam pleaded with his 105k Twitter followers: “Please pray if you believe… pray.”
The couple returned to Twitter late last night, after releasing a statement confirming Alaina was among the 12 victims of the massacre.
Adam wrote: “My brother Arik, his wife Hannah, and my nephew Alex are some of the best people you’ll ever meet.
“They and Alaina are some of the most generous people in the world and love their Napa community.”
Adam included a statement from his brother, which paid tribute to his daughter and offered condolences to the family’s and loved ones of the other victims.
On her own Twitter profile, actress Tamera wrote: “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.”