A 23-year-old soldier who was honored by President Donald Trump for his heroic actions during the El Paso Walmart mass murder last August was found dead this week.
Army Pfc. Glendon Oakley Jr. was heralded as a hero, and the United States Army awarded him the Army Commendation Medal for his actions during a mass murder on Aug. 3, 2019, in Texas.
The Fort Bliss soldier was credited with saving children as gunfire erupted at a Walmart in El Paso. Oakley was shopping at the Foot Locker in the Cielo Vista Mall, across from the Walmart. Once he heard the gunfire, Oakley Jr. drew his weapon and ran outside of the store. He allegedly saw children running and screaming, so he herded the children to safety.
"It was a whole bunch of kids in there," Oakley said after the tragedy. "I hope nothing happened to the kids. I tried to pick up as many as I could and bring them out with me."
"I pulled my gun out," Oakley continued. "When I hear gunshots I just think ... take cover, save whoever you can."
The mass killing resulted in 22 deaths and 24 people injured.
On Wednesday, Oakley was found dead in his quarters at Fort Bliss, an Army base in El Paso. On Friday, Fort Bliss officials confirmed Oakley's death, but they did not provide many details.
"At this point in the investigation, foul play in not suspected," post officials said in a statement. "No further information will be released at this time to protect the integrity of the investigative process."
Oakley's death is under investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
Oakley would later meet President Trump, who said, "What a job he did. You'll be a movie star, the way you look."
Two months after the incident, Oakley was arrested on a deserter warrant for going absent without leave. "Pfc. Oakley was absent without leave and was apprehended pursuant to a military administrative warrant," Army Master Sgt. Vin Stevens said in a statement. "Pfc. Oakley is in police custody pending return to Ft Bliss where the chain of command is prepared to receive the Soldier and address the issue according to applicable laws, regulation, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice."
Oakley was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Rifle Marksmanship Badge, according to Army Times.