by WorldTribune Staff, October 20, 2017
Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos gave his first and only interview on Oct. 19 – a scripted explanation to talk show host and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres.
“The giant company (MGM) that owns the Las Vegas casino feared he would spill the beans about the shooting timeline if he was grilled by real journalists,” DailyMail.com reported, citing a TV insider.
There have been conflicting timelines and reports issued by law enforcement authorities and what actually transpired before during and after the Oct. 1 massacre of 58 concert-goers in Las Vegas.
“MGM was behind the decision to call off all the interviews and did a deal with Ellen, knowing she would not play hardball on the timeline as long as she had the exclusive.”
MGM was concerned Campos might not be able to keep his story straight under questioning from hard news interviewers, the Daily Mail report said.
“MGM is worried that families of the 58 people murdered as well as many of the 546 injured in the Mandalay Bay massacre will launch lawsuits potentially worth billions of dollars against the company.”
Campos, the security guard shot before the rampage by gunman Stephen Paddock on Oct. 1, had originally agreed to do five interviews, all on Oct. 12, but suddenly went missing.
David Hickey, president of the Michigan-based International Union, Security Police and Fire Professionals of America, would not confirm that MGM was behind the decision to have Campos appear on DeGeneres’s show, but said the company influenced Campos.
“I was in a meeting with MGM’s upper management and they were definitely concerned about how tough someone like Hannity would be on him and they voiced their opinions,” Hickey told the Dail Mail. “Everyone knew he wasn’t to talk about security protocols, staffing or training or give out names of employees.”
Hickey said he learned on Oct. 16 that instead of appearing on a news show Campos would go on Ellen.
“It certainly wasn’t my choice that he should appear on that circus,” Hickey told DailyMail.com.
The New York Daily News said the interview “revealed little more than what was already known about the massacre’s evolving timeline,” adding: “Questions lingered about when Campos was shot, when he alerted the hotel to the gunfire – and whether his injuries saved more lives or hastened the attack.”
DeGeneres did not press Campos to clarify some of the lingering questions about the official timeline – such as whether he or hotel officials delayed calling police for six minutes after he was shot.
“If that version is proven to be true, it could open MGM to massive costs from lawsuits,” the Daily Mail said.
According to the first timeline given by authorities, Campos was shot by Paddock after he stopped firing at the music festival across the street.
A revised timeline last week said that Campos was shot before Paddock started shooting at the music festival, but that six minutes passed before police were first alerted to the shooting. Police revised the timeline again on Oct. 13, saying that Campos was shot at 10:05 p.m. and immediately called in, just as Paddock started firing at the festival below.
On Ellen, Campos explained that he was first sent to the 32nd floor because of a stairwell door that wasn’t opening. He arrived via the stairs and found that the door wouldn’t budge. So he went back down to the 31st floor and rode the elevator up to the 32nd floor, where he saw that the door had been secured shut with a metal brace.
After calling maintenance, Campos started walking down the hall away from the door when he says Paddock started shooting at him through the door of his suite.
“I heard rapid fire,” Campos recalled. “At first I took cover. I felt a burning sensation. I went to go lift my pant leg up and I saw the blood and that’s when I called it in on my radio.”
While that recollection lines up with the newest timeline, DeGeneres didn’t ask him anything about the prior conflicting timelines.
Police believe Paddock was tipped off to Campos’s arrival due to security cameras the gunman had rigged in the hallway.
They say Paddock fired 200 gunshots through the door at Campos before opening fire at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival across the street. He had broken two windows in the suite to get his shots off at the crowd below.
As Campos took cover, maintenance worker Stephen Schuck arrived on the floor to see about the door issue.
Schuck accompanied Campos on Ellen and credits the security guard with saving his life.
“Jesus, he leaned out and he said ‘take cover, take cover!’ and yelled at me and within milliseconds…if he didn’t say that I would have got hit,” Schuck said.
Campos also said he saved another life amid the chaos. As Paddock was shooting, a guest came out of her room and he said he yelled at her to get back in.