National News

Police Respond to Shooting During 4th of July Parade in Illinois


Jeff Leon, 57, told CNN on Monday he heard what he believed to be gunshots minutes after the start of the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

Leon said the gunshot sounded like “firecrackers in a trash can”, and it wasn’t until he saw police reacting that he knew something had happened.

“It felt like a chain of about 20 firecrackers that were thrown inside your mental trash can, it was so loud,” he said. “So I didn’t react immediately, I thought it was just the way people are on the fourth.”

“The police started responding and I saw people falling,” Leon said. It was then that he said that he and everyone around him left all their belongings and started running.

“We just took off. And, you know, us, we were hiding behind cars, ducking into the next car and pushing our way out,” he said.

Leon says he never saw the gunshots, but he estimates he heard gunshots for less than a minute as they ran.

It was “maybe five to seven minutes later” when there had been no gunshots that people had stopped fleeing the scene. “But then we had to find our children.”

Leon had gone to the parade with his family to watch his twins, who will be high school freshmen in the fall, parade with the football 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.


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