Army veteran carried children to safety during El Paso Walmart shooting
In the past 24 hours, the world has been rocked at the news of two mass shootings in the US.
Per the Daily Mail, the first shooting came on Saturday, in a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, just after 10:00 AM local time. Surveillance footage shows 21-year-old Patrick Crusius walking through the entrance of a Walmart with an AK-47 assault rifle, where he proceeded to open fire. CNN reports that 20 people have been killed, and 26 have been wounded.
Just hours later, calls came in about another active shooter in Dayton, Ohio. Police have currently confirmed that nine people were killed and 16 others injured after a "white man in all black" opened fire with an AR weapon at Ned Peppers Bar on East Fifth Street, WHIO has reported. Police are currently searching for a second attacker who is believed to have fled the scene in a Jeep could be on the lose. The first shooter was killed by police.
It is times like this where people look for the heroes amongst the tragedies. One man who is being hailed a hero is retired US Army specialist Glendon Oakley.
In an interview with MSNBC, Oakley recalls the moment he heard the gunfire and speaks of his heroic actions to save the children around him:
Whilst shopping at the Foot Locker in the Cielo Vista Mall, Oakley describes how he went to flee the store after hearing the "bop bop" of gunfire at the nearby Walmart. However, after noticing several scared children who were unable to locate their parents and running around inside the shopping plaza unsure of what to do.
It was at this moment that the veteran tried to pick up as many of the children as he could, but recalls how they were "so anxious" that they were "jumping out of his hands". Fortunately, Oakley was able to shuffle a few of the children out of the shopping center to safety.
He said: "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."
Journalist and correspondent Muhammad Lila hailed Oakley a "hero" for his actions, and he wasn't the only person on social media to do so:
Oakley's social media pages state that he is a retired US Army veteran from Killeen, Texas - a city located roughly 582 miles east of El Paso, the Daily Mail reports.
The first call of an active shooter at the Cielo Vista Mall went out at 10:39 AM local time. The first officer arrived on the scene just six minutes later, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said in a press conference.
Following a 2,300 word screed, attributed to the author P.Crucius - believed to be shooter Patrick Crusius - on one website, Allen also stated: "Right now we have a manifesto from this individual - that indicates to some degree - it has a nexus to potential hate crime."
The manifesto speaks of a perceived "Hispanic invasion of Texas", and included a detailed plan to segregate ethnic minorities into separate territories of the country.