“Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing,” a spokesman at the Mandalay Hotel told the media yesterday after questions arose over the security guard’s sudden disappearance last week.
It turned out the time was yesterday afternoon — and on NBC’s The Ellen Show. The proclaimed hero of the massacre had previously missed some five interviews, creating even greater mystery and intrigue about the case.
Apparently, the appearance on “Ellen” will be his only public appearance.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
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.
The news ended five days of speculation over the whereabouts of the security guard, who was shot as he passed outside gunman Stephen Paddock’s hotel room and who holds important information on who knew what and when as the shooting rampage got underway.
Reporters had been looking for Campos to help explain what happened in the moments before Paddock began firing at the crowd assembled for a country music festival opposite the hotel — and how long it took for police to respond.
Shifting timelines given by police and near-total silence from Mandalay Bay’s owners have left Campos as one of the only potential sources of first-hand information on how the shooting rampage unfolded and how the hotel responded.
Campos’ story has been the subject of intrigue and conspiracy theories since he confronted killer Stephen Paddock and reported the shooting, in which 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured.
Since the massacre, contradictory reports have surfaced about his arrival the scene — raising the specter that either the hotel or the police didn’t react swiftly enough. Police initially hailed Campos a hero for distracting the gunman’s attention, pausing his firing at the crowd below. Then came word that Campos was shot six minutes before the shooting on the crowd started — raising questions about why it took so long for police backup to arrive on the scene.
In his appearance yesterday — which airs later today — Campos confirmed that he had called in when he was shot — before the full rampage began. The gunshots he heard inside the room — which he thought was drilling — were apparently aimed at him.
He also revealed he helped prevent two others in the hotel hallway from being shot.
De Generis called him a hero. “You being shot in the leg saved so many people’s lives,” she said. “We just wanted to celebrate you.”
[Joe Vidueira is the writer of this article.]