Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos reappeared days after going missing, surfacing Wednesday for an interview on, of all places, the daytime show ‘Ellen.’
Campos appeared alongside Mandalay Bay building engineer Stephen Schuck in a pre-taped interview answering questions about the events he witnessed as he approached the hotel room of alleged shooter Stephen Paddock – who was either preparing to, was in the middle of, or had just finished shooting at Las Vegas country music festival concertgoers depending on which narrative you choose.
“I’m doing better each day, slowly but surely. Just healing mentally and physically,” Campos told DeGeneres, 17 days after the massacre.
Campos described going to the hotel’s 32nd story to investigate a door alarm, but says he was unable to access the floor due to a “metal bracket holding the door in place.”
Campos said he instead used an elevator to access the floor and described distinctly hearing “drilling sounds” as he neared the shooter’s room via a hallway, which is how he believes Paddock may have observed him. Police have claimed the shooter set up surveillance devices outside of his hotel room.
DeGeneres used a pointer and a diagram to depict to her audience what Campos was describing.
“As I was walking down, I heard rapid fire.” Campos said, receiving a pat on the back from Schuck. “And at first I took cover. I felt a burning sensation. I went to go lift my pant leg up and I saw the blood. That’s when I called it in on my radio that shots have been fired.”
Schuck says he arrived at the floor unaware of gunfire and heard “jackhammer sounds,” as Campos popped out from a corner telling him to take cover.
“Within milliseconds, if he didn’t say that, I would’ve got hit,” Schuck said.
Ellen went on to lavish Campos with praise for saving peoples’ lives, and offered them both reward money, which Campos and Schuck supposedly declined, instead opting for free NFL tickets.
Campos’ account did little to answer numerous questions surrounding the event, despite high expectations his side of the story could help shed light on an ever-shifting narrative continually altered by law enforcement.
Twitter users expressed incredulity that the guard would vanish only to appear not at a press conference with police, but with Ellen.
The security guard had been scheduled for five television interviews last Thursday, but bailed even to the surprise of his labor union president, who claimed Campos disappeared from one moment to the next.
“We were in a room and we came out and he was gone,” the union president told the media.
“For the past four days he’s been preparing… we had a meeting with MGM officials, and after that meeting was over, we talked about the interviews, we went to a private area, and when we came out, Mr. Campos was gone,” Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America union president David Hickey elaborated in a statement to reporters.
The union president says he was notified via text that Campos had been taken to a UMC Quick Care emergency care facility, however a spokesperson for the clinic told Fox News they had no record of his visit.
In a statement to the media Tuesday, representatives for MGM Resorts International said, “Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing,” and that “He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy. We could not be more proud of Jesus.” MGM Resorts International owns Mandalay Bay.
On Tuesday a Las Vegas Metro Police Department spokesman claimed Campos was camera shy, and singled out journalist Laura Loomer for “bombarding him with media attention.”
“He’s a private citizen. Let me put it this way,” LVMPD spokesman Larry Hatfield said. “If you were getting bombarded by media attention from people like [independent journalist] Laura Loomer, it’s your choice not to disclose your location, that is your choice.”
Campos was hailed as a “hero” in the days immediately following the shooting.
“Jesus Campos is a true hero,” Las Vegas Metro Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said at a press conference. “We now know that he was dispatched to a door alarm on the 32nd floor. He went up there to investigate the open door, and as he was doing his job, he came under fire by our suspect.”
The security guard was at the center of controversy after law enforcement issued dramatic shifts in the timeline of the Vegas narrative, initially claiming Campos disrupted Paddock 10 minutes after he unloaded gunfire onto a crowd of 20,000 festival-goers.
However, one week later police revealed Campos did not interrupt Paddock’s rampage, and instead was shot as he approached the shooter’s 32nd-story room a full six minutes before the shooting began.
As noted on the Wednesday edition of Real News with David Knight, Ellen has a line of IGT slot machines available at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas, and debuted them on a segment of her show.
On an interesting side note, there is an Ellen slot machine at the Mandalay Bay casino as well.
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