Meet the hero soldier who saved children's lives during the El Paso Walmart shooting

Glendon Oakley Jr. returns home from his deployment to Kuwait in March 2019.(Courtesy photo)

Glendon Oakley Jr. returns home from his deployment to Kuwait in March 2019.(Courtesy photo)

At first, Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley Jr. was completely unaware of the chaos unfolding just around the corner. Then he pulled his gun.

A 22-year-old Army automated logistics specialist assigned to the 504th Composite Supply Company, 142nd Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas, Oakley had been shopping at a sporting goods store inside the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso when a young child burst into the store shouting about an active shooter at the nearby Walmart.

"The guy at the register and I sort of looked at each other," Oakley told Task & Purpose in a phone interview on Saturday. "He's a little kid ... are you going to believe him?"

The threat was very real. At least 20 people were killed and dozens more wounded when a gunman opened fire at the Walmart, sending terrified bystanders fleeing through the neighboring mall . . .

Read more by Jared Keller at Task and Purpose