South Charlotte Family Relieved Barcelona Family, Friends Are Safe

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “I said ‘what?’ – I didn’t believe my ears,” said Consul Emeritus to Guatemala, Steven Kropp.

Steven Kropp turned on the news and saw the horror unfolding on Las Ramblas street in Barcelona, an area where he grew up, went to college and where his son and grandchildren live.

“When we first heard that [our] family and friends – who we are very close to, were safe, whew,” said Kropp.

His son Ramon sent graphic cell phone video showing the chaos after a van plowed through the popular street killing and injuring people in its path.

“Don’t look. People in the street – there were no blankets to cover people, so you saw people bleeding and damaged and hurting,” said Kropp.

Kropp says he spoke with his loved ones, many didn’t leave their homes. Video his son sent him shows police storming the street with guns.

“They feel so vulnerable. The first impact ‘no we’re not going out we’re going to see what happens first, there may be a second fall, maybe a subsequent bomb exposed’,” said Kropp of what his son said.

Kropp worked for 13 years as a Consul to Guatemala and says Spain’s “everyone is welcome” policy might not ever be the same.

“This is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives” But Kropp says the attack won’t bring the Spaniards down.

“General consensus of the 16, 17 people I’ve spoken with, we will overcome, we will get stronger,” said Kropp.