Soldier who was praised as hero after El Paso shooting arrested for military desertion

PHOTO: Pfc. Glendon Oakley, a native of Killeen, Texas and an automated logistical specialist in the U.S. Army assigned to Fort Bliss, helped children to safety during the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, August 3, 2019.PlayMaster Sgt. Vin Stevens/U.S. Army
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A soldier who was hailed a hero after he said he helped save children during the Walmart El Paso shooting has been arrested for military desertion, officials said.

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Glendon Oakley Jr., 22, was arrested in the early morning hours on Thursday in Killeen, Texas, a spokesman for Harker Heights Police Department, Lt. Stephen Miller, told ABC News.

Police made the arrest after the military issued a warrant for desertion out of Fort Bliss, Miller said.

Oakley was directly booked into the Belly County Jail. Miller said he believed he had since been transferred and taken into custody by Fort Bliss authorities. However a spokesman with Fort Bliss said he was not aware that Oakley had made it back to the base camp.

Oakley's chain of command will receive Oakley when he does return and address the issue as the law and military code permit, according to Fort Bliss spokesman Sgt. Vin Stevens.

PHOTO: Pfc. Glendon Oakley, a native of Killeen, Texas and an automated logistical specialist in the U.S. Army assigned to Fort Bliss, helped children to safety during the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, August 3, 2019. Master Sgt. Vin Stevens/U.S. Army
Pfc. Glendon Oakley, a native of Killeen, Texas and an automated logistical specialist in the U.S. Army assigned to Fort Bliss, helped children to safety during the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, August 3, 2019.

He is being held on a third-degree felony charge, according to ABC El Paso affiliate KVIA.

In the aftermath of the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Oakley told KVIA that when shots rang out, he grabbed as many children as possible to get them away from the gunfire.

"What I did was exactly what I was supposed to do. I understand it was heroic and I'm looked at as a hero for it, but that wasn't the reason for me,” he said at the time. "I'm just focused on the kids that I could not [save] and the families. It hurts me. I feel like they were a part of me. I don't even know the people that died or the kids that I took with me."

He credited his military training as the reason he immediately sprung into action during the shooting, which left 22 people dead.

Oakley is as an automated logistical specialist stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.