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Tamera Mowry Makes Emotional Return To TV After Niece's Death In Mass Shooting

The Real/Tamera Mowry-Instagram

Earlier this month, more than a dozen families were left mourning their loves ones after a lone gunman walked into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and opened fire at more than 100 patrons.

In the end, 12 people were killed, and at least a dozen more, many of whom are students from the schools in the area, were left with serious injuries.

Among the victims was Alaina Housley, the 18-year-old niece of actress and host Tamera Mowry-Housely and former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley.

Alaina was missing immediately after the incident, but authorities later identified her as one of the victims.

"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," Tamera and Adam said in a statement released via ABC News.

"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."

Tamera, who provided regular updates about Alaina's situation on social media, later shared a tribute to her slain niece 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," she wrote in the caption.

"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."

Although the Sister Sister alum continued to briefly open up about her loss online, she took a break from her duties as a co-host on the daytime talk show The Real, until now.

A little over two weeks after the unexpected tragedy struck her family, Tamera made her return to television, and it was extremely emotional.

"Our family's been through a lot. But the interesting thing about grief is that you've got to find the balance of moving forward and grieving at the same time," Tamera, 40, tearfully said to her co-hosts.

She continued, "It's just been a little over two weeks. She would want me to be here and she would want me, sweet Alaina, to move forward. I don't like to say move on, because I don't think I'll ever move on with the fact that she's not here with me or with our family," she continued. "But she would want me to move forward and to use her voice as a catalyst for change, and that's why I'm here today."

The Real/Youtube

In addition to reflecting on her niece's short life, Tamera called for change in our society, especially where gun control is concerned.

"We need change when it comes to gun violence. And I don't care if I have to knock on the doors of the White House to do it, to advocate change," she said.

"Our country "” it's sad to say this, but you have to be living underneath a rock to not believe these words "” our country is sick. It's diseased. It needs healing. It needs healing from within. We're so divided. We should never have to fight for the safety of our children. We should never have to fight for that. That should just happen out of your heart, out of human decency. And I feel that if we talk to our representatives and talk from that place, just maybe, maybe we will be able to move forward," Tamera added.

The Real/YouTube

Tamera vowed to be an advocate before adding that change is possible and she'll "make sure it happens."

"I think the moment we focus on trying to find commonality instead of differences in the beginning, that's were we can start with looking at human decency," she said.

"When we start from there, that is when we can get the work done," she continued. "And that is what Alaina's voice means "” to focus more on our similarities instead of our differences and to extend a hand and make real change. Don't just talk about it, be about it."

You can listen to Tamera's entire message in the video below:

Our thoughts are with Tamera and everyone else who has been affected by this senseless tragedy.

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.