Jesus Campos, the Las Vegas security guard who was named a key witness in the deadly October 1st shooting that killed 58 people and injured 546, resurfaced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday after he reportedly “disappeared” last week.
Campos canceled several scheduled TV interviews last week and his whereabouts were unclear as of Tuesday, but on Wednesday, the Mandalay Bay security guard recounted the events from his perspective as a guest on DeGeneres’ daytime talk show.
According to Campos, he was called up to the 32nd floor of the luxury casino following a security notification about shooter Stephen Paddock’s hotel room door being left open for an extended period of time. When Campos tried to access the 32nd floor from the stairwell, however, he found that the door was blocked off and he had to “reroute.”
After approaching the door a different way, he saw a metal bracket keeping the door to the blocked stairwell shut, something he called “out of the ordinary.” He notified security and requested a member of the engineering team to come check out the situation, at which point he heard sounds that he thought were “drilling.”
“As I was walking down [the hallway], I heard rapid fire,” he said of the quick succession of events that followed. “At first I took cover, [then] 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.”
Mandalay Bay building engineer Stephen Schuck, who responded to the call for an inspection into the “drilling” sound, also joined a visibly emotional Campos on DeGeneres’ couch Wednesday, and recalled seeing Campos amid the gunfire.
“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,” he said of his initial reaction when he reached the 32nd floor. “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.”
Schuck also mentioned that he could feel the “pressure” of bullets whizzing past his head. Neither Campos nor Schuck made mention of what might have caused a 20-minute delay in the Las Vegas police’s response to their call for help. (By the time the police were able to break through the door to shooter Stephen Paddock’s site, he was already dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot.)
“Thank you so much for being here,” DeGeneres said at the end of the interview. “I know you’ve had so many people asking for you to tell the story and talk about this and I understand your reluctance because you just want this to be over. You’re talking about it now and then you’re not gonna talk about it again. And I don’t blame you, because to relive this over and over again… We just wanted to celebrate you.”