An off-duty soldier, who was at the mall next to Walmart at the start of the mass shooting that took the lives of 20 people on Saturday, is credited with helping to get numerous kids to safety after being separated from their parents.
Army specialist Glendon Oakley spoke with reporters, and told them that a child had ran up to him and said that an active shooter was inside the Walmart. At first, Oakley didn’t take the child’s words too seriously, but then he said he heard shots. He also heard people yelling and running.
“I’m in the military, so when I hear the gunshots we’re trained to think fast. Grab your weapon, think fast, take cover, do anything you can,” he said.
Oakley was carrying a firearm that day, and is licensed to carry concealed in Texas.
He ran out of the mall, and quickly saw kids running all over the place, by themselves. He and another man started grabbing as many of them as they could to get them to safety.
“The only thing I think of is just to pick up as many kids as possible. Maybe a total of 13 kids running around, but I could only get about three. I think he grabbed three as well,” Oakley said. “I was just focused on the kids, I wasn’t really worried about myself. I put my head down and just ran as fast as I could.”
Watch the interview below:
The lone gunman killed 20 people and injured 27. He was taken into custody without incident, and is said to be cooperating fully with police.