After hearing the gunshots, Oakley said he drew the handgun he was licensed to carry before looking for a place to hide. Then he noticed a bunch of people fleeing from a nearby Footlocker store.

‘They just dipped. So I ran with them. I just tried to make my way to the parking lot,’ Oakley said.

On his way out, however, the military veteran saw a group of panicking children who were running around inside the shopping plaza unsure of what to do. Their parents were nowhere in sight, he said.

‘I got my bag in my hand. I’m trying to pick them up, as many as I can, just run out,’ Oakley said. ‘But they’re so anxious, they’re, like, jumping out of my hands.’