Glendon Oakley U.S. Army specialist hailed a hero after rescuing stranded children during El Paso Walmart mass shooting in Texas. Social media full of praise as a nation searches for answers.
U.S. Army specialist Glendon Oakley told reporters he was shopping at a sporting goods store inside the Cielo Vista Mall in West El Paso when the gunman opened fire inside a nearby Walmart.
Oakley’s social media pages indicate Oakley is a retired U.S. Army veteran from Killeen, Texas, a city located in the center of the state about 582 miles east of El Paso.
This is Glen Oakley.
He was in the @FootLocker when the El Paso shooting happened. When he ran to leave, he saw kids in the mall without their parents, scared and alone.
So he picked up as many as he could and carried them to safety.
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) August 3, 2019
Oakley, who was visibly shaken while being interviewed in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, said his own life wasn’t his main concern when gunshots rang out.
‘I was just so worried about those kids man. I’m just worried about those kids. I wasn’t really worried about myself. I just hope those kids are alright.’
He told an MSNBC reporter that a child came into the sporting goods store where he and others were shopping and said ‘there’s an active shooter.’
‘Me and the guy that works there were like “He’s a kid” so we didn’t believe him,’ Oakley said. ‘I walked out the mall to go to Footlocker. I hear “Bop! Bop!”
After hearing the gunshots, Oakley said he drew the handgun he was licensed to carry before looking for a place to hide. Then he noticed a bunch of people fleeing from a nearby Footlocker store.
‘They just dipped. So I ran with them. I just tried to make my way to the parking lot,’ Oakley said.
U.S. Army hero specialist puts life on the line: ‘Their parents were nowhere in sight’.
On his way out, however, the military veteran saw a group of panicking children who were running around inside the shopping plaza unsure of what to do. Their parents were nowhere in sight, he said.
‘I got my bag in my hand. I’m trying to pick them up, as many as I can, just run out,’ Oakley said. ‘But they’re so anxious, they’re, like, jumping out of my hands. Ain’t much I can do for the kids, so I just made my way out.’
Oakley said he managed to shuffle at least a few of the children out of the shopping center. When he emerged in the parking lot, Oakley said he was confronted by an on-scene officer who wasn’t sure if Oakley, who was armed, was a potential victim or if he was the shooter, who hadn’t at the time yet been identified.
‘When I got out, I guess one of the cops thought I was the shooter or something,’ Oakley said. ‘So I had to show ’em my clip and stuff, show ’em I had my license to carry. He said I was fine.’
Many on social media commended Oakley for his apparent bravery during the deadly rampage.
Not only did he serve our country he tried to save children. It’s all he could think about. Glendon Oakley is a national treasure and I’m so happy to know people like him exist in this world. Also thankful for the restraint the officer was able to show #ElPaso https://t.co/tfdVndhHyl
— Hi-Meh (@divinejlet) August 3, 2019
GLENDON OAKLEY! MAKE THIS MAN FAMOUS! YOU ARE A HERO IN MY BOOK BROTHER GOD BLESS YOU pic.twitter.com/YLBWyfWsDX
— Chris aka Craig (@whatup_CRAIG) August 3, 2019