A terrorist attack in Barcelona Thursday afternoon left 13 people dead and injured at least 100, according to local police. ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attack.
Authorities said a terrorist-driven rental van plowed through a crowded plaza in the Las Ramblas district, a popular tourist destination.
Saul Vazakas, who grew up in University City in San Diego County, is vacationing in Barcelona with friends. He said he was at Las Ramblas just hours before the terrorist attack happened.
“It was a very busy day,” recalled Vazakas. “It was 80 or 85 degrees outside. It was a nice day. There were a lot of people out there.”
Vazakas said he returned to his hotel about six blocks away from the attack site. He said he received a text from his friend minutes after the attack. He said at that time it was not reported by any news outlets yet.
“Seeing all the people in some of the videos out there," said Vazakas. "It could have been us."
Vazakas said he immediately called his family to let them know he's okay, and ‘checked in’ as safe on Facebook to alert his friends.
“Everything is on lock down in that area right now,” Vazakas added.