Debra Fine is one of several victims that were shot at the hands of the crazed gunman who went on a shooting rampage in Santa Monica this past Friday, but she is one of the lucky ones that survived the shooting.
John Zawahri shot his father and older brother at their home, which later went up in flames. He then took to the streets and began shooting people at random for about 15 minutes until he was shot by police in the Santa Monica College Library.
The incident still puzzles authorities who are trying to figure out what motivated the killer. His mother was on a trip abroad and will be interviewed by police in the hope she can shed some light into her son’s actions.
Fine was the first victim shot by Zawahri. She was driving through side roads in an effort to avoid the traffic delays due to President Obama’s caravan a few miles away.
That’s when she encountered him, when he was instructing the woman in front of her to pull over while pointing his weapon at her. At first she thought he was part of the President’s detail, but he started yelling at the woman.
“He looked right at me,” Fine said. “Stared right at me and then shot. No hesitation.”
Zawahri then walked toward her, shooting again. Fine was hit in the shoulder, arm and ear, and she lay on the passenger seat, pretending to be dead, the AP reports.
Meanwhile Zawahri’s shooting spree continued, he took the carjacked woman to Santa Monica College hitting innocent bystanders and also a city bus.
Debra Fine returned home from the hospital on Sunday and she recalled how neighbors came to her aid, holding towels over her wounds until paramedics arrived. Her husband, Russell rushed to her side shortly thereafter.
“When I got into the trauma room and I heard one of the doctors say, ‘Two more have arrived but they’re DOA,’ that’s when I realized that this was part of something bigger, and that his intent had been to kill people,” Fine said. “I’m just, I feel very, very lucky to be here.”
For this survivor of the Santa Monica shooter, gun control is now a top issue. “When are we going to get the guns out of the hands of the people who are mentally ill?” she said.
[Image via Shutterstock]