Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley Jr. saved the lives of many children during the shooting. But he does not want to be called a hero instead asked the media to focus on the victims.
The United States of America just went through some of the darkest days in its history with massacres like never before. In less than 24 hours, the country was terrorized with three shootings that occurred in El Paso, Dayton, and Chicago killing many and injuring several. People ran for their lives, helplessly crying out to save their dear ones from the shooting bullets. The nation wept for the ones who lost their lives and applauded the brave heroes. One of the heroes was Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley Jr.
According to CBS, 22-year-old army man Glendon Oakley Jr. saved several children who were lost without their parents while the gunman continued firing at the Walmart in El Paso. "We run towards Dillard's, and it's like a playpen over there. I see a whole bunch of kids like, without their parents running around screaming and crying, so I grab as many as possible," said Oakley to CBS. The man who broke down in tears narrated the events to the media and even wished he had saved more children. "I heard four kids died. I wish I could have gotten more kids out of there. I wish those guys who ran would have stayed ... I just think, what if that was my child? How would I want some other man to react?" said Oakley as he spoke to the media outside the mall after the incident.
Oakley was at a sporting goods store in the Cielo Vista Mall when he saw a young child run in claiming that there was an active shooter in the Walmart nearby. Oakley was not sure if he could believe the little child. "He's a little kid ... are you going to believe him?" said the army man to Task&Purpose. However, within minutes he was convinced that the child was not joking.
This man burst into tears as he remembered the scene of the El Paso shooting.— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 5, 2019
Glendon Oakley heard the gunshots in Walmart and carried several kids to safety. pic.twitter.com/xcUjy7u82i
As Oakley headed to the Footlocker store, he heard the sound of gunfires coming from across the mall. The trained young man did not waste second thinking but got to action. Oakley along with a group of people ran towards the exit of the mall. They stumbled upon a group of children who were screaming for help. "I try to get a couple of other people too, you know, grab other kids, but parents are so worried about themselves, they're gone," Oakley said to CBS.
However, the young man saved as many children as he could and carried them to the exit point. "We got there and ran into a whole batch of police pointing their guns at us. I wasn't focused on myself, and I wasn't focused on my surroundings ... I was just focused on those kids," said the man.
Many praised the man for his quick action and his selfless heroic act. But Oakley does not want the media attention or the "hero" tag. "I know what I did was heroic but I'm more focused on the families that were lost and the kids that died and the people that died. I'm more focused on the families that were lost. I want to reach out to the families that were lost and the families that lost their children," said Oakley.
He went to tell people that it is important to step up when there is a danger in front. "In times like this, don't be scared to put others before yourself because that's the way I was raised, to put others before myself."
After his graduation and training in 2018, Oakley had been deployed in Kuwait. He had returned home a few months back. Though he was born into an army family, the young man had a rough childhood and his way into the army was not easy. The brave man who saved the lives of many children added that he did what he was taught to and even thanked the military for helping him develop the skills.