There are heroes among us everyday, walking the streets, willing to step up to the occasion to perform acts of valour in the darkest situations.
One of those darkest situations occurred Saturday, when a gunman opened fire at an El Paso, TX Walmart.
When the shooting started, U.S. army soldier Glen Oakley was shopping at the mall where the Walmart was located.
Instead of running away, his first instinct was to save the children he saw without their parents.
Having just obtained his concealed-carry license, he protected the children and physically carried them to safety.
Here’s a video of an interview with Glen Oakley in the aftermath of the shooting, where he talks about what he did:
Here's another slightly more extended clip:
News of Glen's heroism quickly went viral on Twitter, with users thanking him for his bravery and putting the children first.
Take a look:
During the shooting, Glen Oakley posted on his own Twitter:
Afterwards, he encouraged responsible, eligible adults to get their concealed carry in case of moments like the shooting:
NBC Washington had the following to say about Oakley's heroic act during the El Paso shooting:
Glen Oakley was in a sport store in El Paso Saturday when a child ran in saying there was an active shooter in Walmart. Oakley didn't believe him and kept shopping.
But then he heard gunshots. Oakley pulled out his legally permitted gun and started to run for the parking lot when he noticed unaccompanied children all around him.
“It was just a whole bunch of kids up in there,” Oakley said in an interview with local NBC affiliate KTSM.
He tried to pick up the children, but they were so anxious that they writhed out of his grasp.
“I was just so worried about those kids, man,” he said.
Oakley was in the middle of a mass shooting at a Walmart next to the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, that officials said left 20 people dead and 26 wounded. The suspect was from Allen, Texas — a roughly nine-hour drive from where the shooting took place.
Army Times also commended Oakley:
A Fort Bliss soldier is being hailed as a hero after he helped evacuate children from a Texas shopping mall during a deadly mass shooting on Saturday.
Pvt. 1st Class Glendon Oakley Jr, an automated logistical specialist assigned to the 504th Composite Supply Company stationed at Fort Bliss, was among hundreds of customers at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso when a gunman opened fire.
At least 20 people died and 26 others were wounded.
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen described the attack to reporters as “a hate crime.”
The suspected gunman is alive and in police custody.
In an interview with MSNBC, Oakley said he was shopping at a Foot Locker when a child ran into the store and reported the mass shooting. Seconds later, he heard gunfire.
Oakley, who has a gun permit, drew his weapon and ran out of the store.
“I saw a whole bunch of kids running around without their parents … I tried to pick up as many as I could and bring them with me,” he told the news station.
“I’m in the military, so when I hear gunshots, I just think ‘take cover.’ But I was so worried about those kids.”