NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — On Monday morning, Dennis Leoni missed a call from his son. He later realized the call he missed was his son telling him he was in the midst of the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.
New Bern native Curtis Leoni was attending the festival with a friend when bullets began spraying.
“He said there were a lot of bullets,” Dennis Leoni said. “You could hear them going by, and you can hear them hit the ground around him and ricocheting.”
Not every bullet missed him. Two hit him, one in each leg.
“It didn’t do any bone damage and obviously it missed the arteries otherwise he wouldn’t be here,” said Dennis Leoni. “He would have bled out on the field.”
Leoni said his son’s law enforcement background is helping.
“He is calm because he is a police detective,” Dennis Leoni said. “He knows how to handle himself in crisis situations.”
Martha Leoni, Curtis’ stepmother, agrees.
“These thoughts will always be with him, but I think he will bypass it all,” said Martha Leoni.
Dennis still has one question he wants answered: “Why?”
Dennis and Martha said Curtis has a long recovery ahead of him, but their family and the community are helping to get through the tragedy.