Security guard wounded in Las Vegas attack breaks silence on 'Ellen'

The mystery is over: Las Vegas security guard Jesus Campos has been found

By Matt Pearce
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The mystery is over: Las Vegas security guard Jesus Campos has been found.

On the set of “Ellen.”

On Wednesday, Ellen DeGeneres’ television talk show is expected to broadcast the much-anticipated first interview with the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino security guard who was the first shooting victim in the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas.

DeGeneres tweeted a photo of Campos holding a cane on the set Tuesday alongside maintenance engineer Stephen Schuck, who was also shot at by the gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Campos has become a focal point of media attention and speculation over the last week as journalists — confronted by shifting timelines given by police, and by near-total silence from the Mandalay Bay’s owners — sought his firsthand story of how the massacre unfolded and how the hotel responded.

Campos mysteriously left a Las Vegas hotel room Thursday where he was preparing for televised interviews on the Sean Hannity show on Fox, as well as news shows on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC. No interviews took place.

David Hickey, president of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America union that represents the security guards at Mandalay Bay, previously told the Los Angeles Times that he was attending a meeting with MGM representatives in one room of the suite as Campos waited with a security guard — hired by MGM — and another union member in the living room.

When the meeting ended about 2 p.m., Hickey said Campos no longer was in the room.

“When I got in touch with the other union member, I was told Campos was taken to the Quick Care” health clinic, Hickey said. Hickey didn’t hear from the guard afterward and announced to a scrum of reporters that night that Campos had canceled interviews. Campos didn’t contact his union in the days after he walked away.

The company that owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino issued a statement Tuesday that implied it was in touch with Campos as questions mounted over the Las Vegas casino’s response to the mass shooting.

“Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing,” Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International, said in a written statement after the Los Angeles Times requested an interview with him. “He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy. We could not be more proud of Jesus.”

Las Vegas police initially stated that Paddock shot Campos through the door of his hotel suite on the 32nd floor midway through his attack on the concert, essentially crediting Campos with turning Paddock’s attention away from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival across the street.

But police later said that Campos was shot six minutes before the attack began, and then officials changed their story again, stating that Campos was shot moments before Paddock began his attack on the concert.

Police and casino officials have said that Campos promptly reported the gunman to hotel security and that police officers and armed security responded immediately to the 32nd floor, where Paddock had a suite.

But the first officers to get to the floor arrived 12 minutes after Paddock had launched his assault on the crowd — and two minutes after he had stopped shooting — raising questions about how quickly the hotel had informed officers on the scene about Campos’ report.

©2017 Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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