Recently back from serving in the Middle East, Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley, Jr. was in the Foot Locker store at the El Paso Mall when the panic began. He served as a sort of rear-guard as Food Locker employees closed their security gate and ran toward an exit, away from the gunfire. He was about to follow, when he saw about a dozen kids in an open play area in the mall, screaming for their parents. Fleeing bystanders would not stop, so he stopped.
Oakley, 22, took charge. "I just grabbed as many kids as I could and ran to the exit, which was five stores away.," he said. "I heard four kids died. I wish those guys who ran would have stayed. I just think, 'What if that was my child? How would I want some other man to react?' One man who heard of the rescues said Oakley "deserves a country in which he doesn't have to rescue children from a shooter in the mall."