Los Angeles News

Santa Monica shooting victim distracts gunman, saves woman

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Debra Lynn Fine was shot as she was trying to distract the Santa Monica gunman, who had his gun pointed at someone else.

"He shot me in the shoulder so the glass exploded, the bullet went in and out then I ducked my head and as I ducked shrapnel went across my chest," Fine said.

Fine came face to face with the Santa Monica gunman. Taking a different route home, the mother of two turned a corner and saw a man dressed in all black motioning a woman out of her vehicle.

"He was pointing the rifle at her and she looked so frightened and I was so angry and I was thinking I'm in my car, she's out in the open, frightened, leave her alone,'" Fine said.

The next few moments, Debra says, happened very quickly.

"I accelerated with my car in front of him to yell at him to stop," Fine said. "When I did, he turned his eyes from her to me."

The gunman fired his assault rifle at Debra hitting her multiple times.

"I ducked down in the passenger seat and I just kept thinking pretend like you're dead, pretend like you're dead," Fine said.

When the gunfire stopped, neighbors rushed to Debra's car to help her. It wasn't until later that Debra realized just how close she came to death.

"This was the same person who then went on, who was fully capable and intended on killing people, Fine said.

Debra says she will not soon forget the cold look in the shooters eyes right before he began firing at her. But, she also says, she will always remember those who came to her aid.

"What I saw in the neighborhood with all the neighbors running out to help me at risk to their own lives is that there are people out there who really care and who will really get involved," said Fine.

Fine was hit in the shoulder, arm and ear. She was released from the hospital on Sunday and is now recovering at home.

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