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 22 people dead and more than two dozen wounded. The suspect was from Allen, Texas — a roughly nine-hour drive from where the shooting took place.
Police have confirmed a suspect has been apprehended.
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A video on KTSM.com purports to show people hiding under tables near the Walmart entrance as a gun fires.
Leslie, a Walmart employee, was working near the self-checkout when she heard what she thought were loud boxes being dropped — until the sounds got closer.
“I got all the people that I could, I even found a little girl that was missing from her parents, and I got her, too. I tried to get as many people as I could out,” Leslie told KTSM.
Adriana Quezada told The Associated Press that she and her two children were in Walmart's women's clothing section when she heard what sounded like roof construction. After it became clear that there was an active shooter, Quezada's kids threw themselves on the floor, then escaped the store through an emergency exit.
Another visibly shaken woman, who Telemundo El Paso did not name, said the shooter was wearing beige pants and a green shirt. She said she saw many people who were dead.
Edie Hallberg, who was at the scene of the shooting, told Telemundo El Paso that all she wanted was to find her mom.
"Somebody needs to tell me where she is," Hallberg said. "I want to know if she's dead or alive, or if she's still in Walmart."