The Las Vegas security guard who was wounded while trying to stop shooter Stephen Paddock at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Oct. 1 has spoken out on The Ellen DeGeneres Show — after many had expressed concern over his whereabouts.
Jesus Campos recounted to DeGeneres how he was shot in the leg as he approached the room on the 32nd floor of the hotel on the Las Vegas strip. From that corner room, Paddock fired down onto a crowd of some 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. According to authorities, the gunfire continued off and on for about nine to 11 minutes. Paddock killed 58 and injured another 489.
Campos’ appearance on a pre-taped episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show ends speculation about his whereabouts after he skipped out on other scheduled interviews, and – according to some – went “missing.” The interview is set to air on Wednesday.
“I’m walking down [the hallway] and I believe that’s what caught the shooter’s attention,” Campos told DeGeneres, noting that he was on duty, patrolling the stairwells when he noticed the door to the 32nd floor was “blocked off.”
“As I was walking down I heard rapid fire 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 had been fired.”
Paddock shot Campos through the door of his hotel suite and soon building engineer Stephen Schuck found Campos wounded. Schuck appeared on Ellen alongside Campos.
“I saw Jesus and I started to hear shooting. At the time I didn’t know it was shooting, I thought it was a jackhammer,” Schuck said. “That’s when Jesus, he leaned out and he said, ‘Take cover! Take cover!’ Yelled at me, and within milliseconds if he didn’t say that I would’ve got hit.”
Paddock was still shooting as Schuck approached, and the engineer noted that he felt the “pressure” of bullets passing his head.
Paddock was found dead in his suite of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before midnight, as law enforcement closed in.
Campos has shied away from the spotlight as he was hailed a hero in the wake of the shooting. Now, he is ready to share his story, and has given an update on his recovery.
“[I’m] doing better each day,” he told the host. “Slowly but surely, just healing physically and mentally.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Campos disappeared from the public eye on Friday after canceling a series of interviews with Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
David Hickey, the president of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America union, told the Times he hadn’t seen or heard from Campos in four days.
“We have had no contact with him… Clearly, somebody knows where he is,” Hickey said, adding that Campos was meant to attend a meeting with MGM representatives — a meeting he never attended as he disappeared from the waiting room shortly before Hickey walked out to get him.
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“When I got in touch with the other union member, I was told Campos was taken to [health clinic] Quick Care,” Hickey said. He explained he hadn’t heard from Campos afterward and told reporters that interviews with the security guard were cancelled.
The company that owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino told the Times in a statement Tuesday that Campos “wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing.”
“He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy,” the statement read. “We could not be more proud of Jesus.”
Campos was hailed a hero after he reportedly sprang to action the night of the Las Vegas shooting, approaching the hotel room unarmed as Paddock sprayed the crowd below with high-powered weapons fire.
Paddock saw Campos coming through the cameras he had rigged in the hallway. When Campos got to the room, Paddock fired through the door, hitting him in the leg. Campos then used his radio to raise the alarm.
Schuck was checking the hotel doors when he also came under fire but was able to dive out of the way thanks to, he says, Campos yelling at him to take cover.