Victim Feels "Empowered" One Year After Santa Monica Shooting - NBC Southern California

Coverage of the deadly June 7 shootings in Santa Monica

Victim Feels "Empowered" One Year After Santa Monica Shooting

Deba Fine had surgery two days ago to remove the last of the shrapnel from last year's shooting



    On the eve of the first anniversary of the deadly Santa Monica shooting spree that left six people dead, one survivor spoke with NBC4 about how she's using her experience to help victims of violent crime. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 6, 2014. (Published Friday, June 6, 2014)

    One year after a gunman opened fire in the city of Santa Monica and killed five people, one victim is doing more than remembering what happened. She's taking action.

    "I've been able to, I think, move from feeling like a victim to really feeling empowered," Debra Fine said.

    Fine said she discovered her inner strength after becoming one of the victims of last year's Santa Monica shooting spree, but she is still recovering physically.

    "I had my last surgery two days ago on my chest to remove the rest of the shrapnel," Fine said.

    Saturday marks the one year anniversary of John Zawahri's rampage on June 7, 2013, which started at his father's home and ended on the campus of Santa Monica College.

    During his 14-minute shooting spree, he killed five people and wounded several others, including Fine, who was shot multiple times when she came upon Zawahri carjacking another woman and tried to stop him.

    The gunman was killed by police.

    "I realized that day that absolutely to my core that I would help, that I would do whatever it took," Fine said.

    After the shooting, she and her husband started the Fineline Foundation to help victims of violent crime.

    "We have so many resources whether it's support groups, physical, mental, financial, to try to help people get back on their feet again," Fine said.

    Recovering is something the community is also doing.

    "The city's been very resilient and we've been able to absorb and move forward, but at the same time always remembering," Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said.

    Seabrooks said the training her department had before that day proved invaluable.

    "So in the aftermath, we did other training. We received grant funds and put together rapid response mobilization training," Seabrooks said.

    The lessons learned that day are also being shared with other agencies.

    "In the coming weeks, I'll be going to some training at FBI and I'm sure that this is going to be topic of conversation amongst mid-size city chiefs, because we all want to know how do we deal with this, how do we recover from this?" Seabrooks said.

    It's a question some hope to answer this weekend as residents come together for a one year anniversary interfaith service.

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