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El Paso Shooting Hero Glendon Oakley Talks About Saving Children

By Emily Reily

Whenever news of these mass shootings hits the airwaves, Mr. Rogers' quote comes to mind: "Always look for the helpers.... there will always be helpers... If you look for the helpers, you know that there's hope."

Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley was one of those helpers during the mass shooting in El Paso this past weekend, and helped get as many children as he could to safety.

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Oakley Sprang Into Action


Oakley says he was in Foot Locker when a child came in to say that someone was shooting next door.

Oakley saw several children huddled together in a mall play area screaming for their parents. He knew how to help.

"Only thing I think of is pick up as many kids I can as possible," Oakley says.

'Focused On the Kids'


Oakley says despite everything that was going on that he couldn't control, he just tried to stay focused on what he could do.

"I was just focused on the kids, I wasn't really worried about myself. So [I] just put my head down and just ran as fast as I could."


The children had no idea what was happening, but Oakley knew this and understood why they were trying to get away from him.

"They were anxious, when they were in my arms, they were trying to jump out of my arms but [I was] trying to keep them as tight as possible. They are kids, so they don't understand what is going on."

Oakley Simply Thought Of Others

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People were lucky that Oakley was there that day: He's an Army automated logistics specialist who is part of the 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, which is stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.

In televised interviews, Oakley is clearly taking this situation to heart and is upset that he couldn't get more children to safety. He said he was "scared for his life."

"It hurts me like I lost -- they were part of me," he says.

Twenty-two people died in the shooting.

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