Jesus Campos — the Las Vegas security guard shot in the leg upon confrontation with suspected mass shooter, Stephen Paddock — hasn’t vanished. He’s on Ellen.
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
Yes, Campos has abruptly surfaced for an appearance on the eponymous daytime show hosted by comedienne, Ellen DeGeneres, to discuss the harrowing moments in which some 200 bullets allegedly fired by Paddock flew down the Mandalay Bay Casino hall in his direction — putting to rest fringe theories the man who’d seemingly dematerialized seconds prior to a press conference, days ago.
“Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing,” MGM Resorts International, which owns and operates Mandalay Bay, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an email early Tuesday. “He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy. We could not be more proud of Jesus.”
Signs outside the 25-year-old accidental-hero security guard’s home reportedly read, “NO TRESPASSING” and “NO MEDIA ON PROPERTY,” as recently as today — indicating, for lack of disputing information, Campos had never ‘disappeared,’ per se.
“For the past four days he’s been preparing,” David Hickey of the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) told the media Friday, FOX 5 Las Vegas reported, “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.”
That, together with the following tweets from ABC’s Stephanie Wash, show these rumors of Campos’ disappearance indeed originated with a root of truth — no matter how far from it subsequent gossip and innuendo diverged.
“Media scrum tonight as we learn security officer shot in Vegas attack, Jesus Campos’ whereabouts are unknown,” Wash tweeted, adding later, “Jesus Campos was set to do 5 intvs tonight per union president, but they’ve lost contact. ‘We were in a room & we came out & he was gone.’”
Proffering no additional information on its sender or origin, Hickey later vaguely reported he had received a text stating Campos had been transported to a UMC Quick Care facility for treatment — however, there are eight such facilities in the Las Vegas area, and a Quick Care spokesperson told FOX News on Monday they had “heard nothing” regarding the guard’s care.
Apparently the impotent mystery has nevertheless been solved — Jesus Campos’ interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show is slated for 3 p.m. today. After reviewing clips of the show, the Review-Journal reported,
“Campos reviewed the events of the shooting, recounting how he was alerted to check on a door that was ajar. He said he was on the stairwell going from the 31st to the 32nd floor and came upon a door that was blocked and wouldn’t open. So he rerouted through a hallway and called security dispatch to get an engineer to check on the blocked door. The worker summoned would be Schuck.”
Maintenance worker Stephen Schuck, also trapped by the initial gunfire, assisted law enforcement in locating the shooter — but, apart from a single daytime show appearance prior to today’s airing of Ellen, had maintained media silence similar to that of Campos.
Their long-awaited eyewitness descriptions of what took place inside Mandalay Bay the night Paddock allegedly and without evident motive unleashed all Hell upon the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the night of October 1 were previewed on video provided to the Review-Journal.
“I was walking down and heard rapid fire,” Campos describes in one of the video previews. “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.”
Given the sheer size and scope of the ongoing investigation, discrepancies have plagued headlines, police reports, and rumors, alike — with an inexplicable gaffe from Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo leading the pack.
Lombardo unexpectedly edited the already-muddled official timeline of events, suggesting the guard encountered the shooter fully six minutes prior to Paddock’s purportedly firing at the crowd — incidentally lowering his ‘hero’ status by intimating he hadn’t saved a soul in the process — and not within a minute of shooting as MGM officials had stated.
Although the sheriff later acknowledged casino officials were correct, Lombardo’s odd departure from the narrative didn’t quench the rumor wildfire the myriad discrepancies set in motion.
Today’s show will undoubtedly stem the flow of misinformation related to the tragedy. While questioning the narrative — official or otherwise — remains essential to winnow the truth from constant and effective propaganda, in times of tragedy it is indeed best to remember lives have been lost and others changed forever by the event.