Jeff Leon, 57, told DailyExpertNews Monday that he heard what he believes were gunshots minutes before the start of the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
Leon said the shot sounded like “fireworks in a garbage can,” and it wasn’t until he saw police officers respond that he knew something had happened.
“It sounded like a series of about 20 fireworks being piped into your mental trash can, that’s how loud it was,” he said. “So I didn’t react right away. I thought it was just how people are on the fourth.”
“The police started responding and I saw some people fall,” Leon said. Then he said that he and everyone around him left all their belongings and started running.
“We just left. And, you know, we hid behind cars, folded in the next car and made our way,” he said.
Leon says he never saw the gunfire, but he estimates he heard shots for less than a minute as they ran.
It was “maybe five to seven minutes later” when there were no shots that stopped people running away. “But then we had to find our children.”
Leon had gone to the parade with the family to watch his twins, who will be entering high school in the fall, marching with the soccer team. He was later reunited with his family, who were unharmed.
Leon is a resident of Highwood, Illinois, about a mile from Highland Park, and has lived in the area since 2010.