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Army soldier who saved kids during El Paso shooting found dead at Fort Bliss

Pfc. Glendon Oakley, a native of Killeen, Texas and an automated logistical specialist assigned to 504th Composite Supply Company, 142nd Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade. (U.S. Army/Released)
April 10, 2020

Pfc. Glendon Oakley, who gained attention for getting children to safety during the August 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart, was found dead in his quarters this week.

“The 1st Armored Division can confirm the death of 23 year old, Pvt. Glendon Oakley. The Soldier was found deceased in his on-post quarters on April 8,” Fort Bliss officials told American Military News on Friday.

“Oakley served as an automated supply logistical specialist, assigned to 504th Composite Supply Company, 142nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade and was a Killeen, Texas native. His death is under investigation by Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. At this point in the investigation, foul play in not suspected.”

Oakley had joined the Army in October 2017, and had previously served on deployment to Kuwait.

His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Rifle Marksmanship Badge.

On the day of the El Paso shooting, Oakley was shopping at a nearby Footlocker store when a child came in distraught over the shooting.

Oakley had a gun license, and withdrew his concealed handgun upon exiting the store. However, he saw what he described as “a whole bunch of kids just running around” without their parents, so he went to work carrying and escorting them to safety.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen credited Oakley for saving children during the massacre.

Days after the shooting, President Donald Trump visited El Paso and met with Oakley, among other first responders.

“What a job he did,” Trump said of Oakley. “There are lot of heroes. A lot of people who did just incredible work.”

President Donald J. Trump thanks Pfc. Glendon Oakley and other officials Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at the El Paso Emergency Operations Center in El Paso, Texas. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Oakley was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his heroic act.

Two months after the shooting, Oakley was arrested for desertion near his hometown of Killeen. Harker Heights Police Department officers located him in his vehicle on behalf of Fort Bliss, who issued an order for his arrest.