A 23-year-old soldier who was praised for his actions during the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, died this week.
Pvt. Glendon Oakley was found deceased Wednesday in his quarters on Fort Bliss, according to post officials. Oakley’s death is under investigation by special agents from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.
“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 served as an automated supply logistical specialist with the 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade. He was a Killeen, Texas native, according to his service history.
Oakley received the Army Commendation Medal in mid-August for his actions during the mass shooting that took the lives of 22 people.
During the attack, Oakley had been at the Cielo Vista Mall shopping at a Foot Locker, adjacent to the Walmart where the shooting unfolded. Both buildings were evacuated by police, and Oakley said he carried several children out of the mall and to police outside.
“You could hear all of the chaos going around, and that’s when I did what I was trained to do,” Oakley said after the incident. “I quickly reacted and I thought to myself if my child were there how I would want someone else to react. I just took action and tried to get as many kids as possible.”
President Donald Trump met with Oakley, as well as others who were impacted by the shooting, which police said was motivated by anti-immigrant and white nationalist beliefs.
Months after being recognized for his actions, Oakely was arrested by local law enforcement near his hometown when a military administrative warrant was issued for him allegedly going absent without leave. Citing respect for Oakley’s privacy, no further information was released at the time.
“We are genuinely concerned about the well-being of all soldiers in our unit,” said Oakley’s brigade commander, Col. Ronnie D. Anderson Jr., immediately following the arrest.
Oakley’s other awards and decorations include 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.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer