Army Private First Class Glendon Oakley, who helped several children during El Paso shooting, tearfully recalled the situation in an interview with ABC News.
Oakley, 22, revealed that he was in a store in El Paso on August 3 when a little boy told him there was an active shooter at Walmart. However, neither Oakley nor the person at the register believed him.
When the PFC left the store, he noticed the chaos, heard the gunshots, and saw more than ten children fleeing from the scene without their parents. At that point, he knew that he must take the kids away from the dangerous situation.
"What I did was what I was supposed to do, and I understand it was heroic, and I'm looked at as a hero for it, but that wasn't the reason for me…” said Oakley before breaking into tears. “I'm just focused on the kids that I could not get and the families that were lost."
Oakley pulled out his weapon and, with the help of another man, he began guiding the children to a safe place. Once Oakley saw the police officers, he put down the “four or five” children he was carrying as he knew they were safe.
The PFC admitted that he was not thinking about himself but the children and that he did what he was trained to do.
Apart from that, he pointed out that the media and the attention should not be focused on him but on the families that lost their beloved ones during the shootings in El Paso, Ohio, and Chicago.
Oakley, who recently returned from a deployment in Kuwait, confessed that the shooting in El Paso was “the worst thing” he had ever been through. He added that he wanted to forget about it, refusing to describe the situation.
As per August 5, 22 people have died 25 were left injured after the incident. The main suspect is Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old man from Allen, Texas, who used an AK 47-style assault rifle. He surrendered to police soon after the shooting ended.
At the moment, authorities are investigating the case. The initial statement is that it was a hate crime as they found a manifesto supposedly written by Crusius in which he added white-nationalist text.
Soon after the shooting, several people made public their thoughts, including Senator Bernie Sanders, who sweetly honored the memory of the victims during his campaign event with a moment of silence.