The shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival left 59 dead. The incident has raised numerous questions, and those questions have spawned numerous conspiracy theories. One of the most hotly debated centers around the “disappearance” of Jesus Campos, the first man to have come in contact with Stephen Paddock, the shooter. Now he’s breaking his silence.
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Campos was working as a security guard at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The Las Vegas Police and the management at the Casino have provided contrasting timelines of what happened in the minutes before Paddock opened fire on the festival below his 32nd floor window.
Campos was shot by Paddock when he went to investigate a “open door” alarm on the 32nd floor. This was just before the mass shooting began. Campos had been scheduled to speak publicly at a news conference last week, but didn’t show. Now he’s appearing on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Wednesday in a per-recorded interview.
Tomorrow, the first people to encounter the Las Vegas shooter are here – security guard Jesus Campos and building engineer Stephen Schuck. pic.twitter.com/dDmjzN6xBx
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 18, 2017
“I’m doing better each day, slowly but surely. Just healing mentally and physically,” Campos told DeGeneres.
Campos tried to access the 32nd floor at the stairwell, but says the door had been barricaded. “There was metal bracket holding the door in place,” he said.
From the other side of the door, he could hear drilling sounds.So he took the elevator to the 32nd floor.
“As I was walking down, I heard rapid fire.” Campos said. “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.”
“And I was going to say that I was hit, but I got on my cell just to clear the radio traffic so they could coordinate the rest of the call.”
“While hiding in a doorway,” CNN reports, “Campos alerted a hotel building engineer who was called to check on the door and a woman who came out of another room.”
“Everything puts pieces together on how everyone came together to help that night even in the darkest hour,” he said.
The interview may clear up much of the confusion. After his so-called disappearance, many on the internet embraced the idea that Campos had been the rumored second-shooter. Erroneous reports claimed he’d shot Paddock, and then turned the gun on himself to provide an alibi.
The hotel, though, provided a different story. “Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing. He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy. We could not be more proud of Jesus,” MGM said in a statement.
Speculation about Campos’s role has not been limited to internet experts. Initial reports claimed his arrival on the 32nd floor stopped the shooting, as Paddock turned his focus to Campos. Later, the Lav Vegas Police changed the timeline and indicated Campos was shot 6 minutes before Paddock began shooting out of the hotel windows.
What actually happened? Perhaps we’ll see when the interview airs.