Debra Fine was heading home from a singing lesson in Santa Monica on June 7, 2013. Taking an alternate route to get home this day, Debra ultimately found herself caught in the crossfire of the fatal Santa Monica College shooting spree, leaving her wounded and shot a total of five times.
As she drove along, she saw a man dressed in black, holding an automatic rifle.
“He motioned the girl in front of me who was in a car, to pull over, and she did,” Fine recalled. “Then, he pointed the gun at her and she looked very frightened.”
Fine stepped on the gas of her car, yelling at the shooter to stop.
He raised his rifle and fired at Debra, with the first bullet hitting her in her right shoulder, and additional shots hitting her four times on her left side.
The shooting spree claimed the lives of five people, including the gunman, and wounded several others.
Fine will attend a commemoration event today hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence marking the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting spree.
She has been speaking about her experience and is in the process of writing a book, “Wake Up Call: From Trauma to Triumph,” which is a compilation of stories by those who have triumphed over severe trauma.
Debra is also the mother of a 16-year-old son with a history of mental illness, and speaks about the long, hard road finding help for her family and the ongoing challenges.
Debra has been the CEO of children’s educational media companies and an executive at The Walt Disney Company and Small World Toys.
After surviving the Santa Monica College mass shooting, Debra wanted to give back to the community and provide resources for others who had been victims of violent crimes.
She and her husband created the Fineline Foundation. Its mission is to provide valuable support resources for those who have sustained trauma and are seeking to heal, helping survivors of violent crimes to triumph over trauma, and getting them back on a path toward healthy and positive lives.