Father recounts his family’s escape from Highland Park shooting

The Highland Park shooting of July 4, 2022, will haunt memories for a long time. The shooter killed six, injured 31 and emotionally scarred countless others, including those who managed to run for safety.

One such person who managed to escape unharmed was Shawn Cotreau, 46, who reflected on the horror show on Monday. Along with his wife and three kids, he wasn’t hurt at the scene, but he explained that his children are still terrified.

“They had the parade again this year after canceling it the last two, so we had our chairs out early, in our regular spots,” Cotreau told PEOPLE.

“You’d never imagine it would turn into something like this.

“We’re sheltered in place in the house right now. My kids, they’re shaken. They don’t want to leave the house.”

Thought it was fireworks

Cotreau, whose children are aged 2, 9 and 11, went on to explain that he thought the noise of shooting was someone setting off firecrackers at first.

“I looked back, saw the gun, and I’m staring at this guy shooting at me,” said Cotreau.

“It was tough for me to see him. He was up on the roof, and had the rifle in front of him.