Jesus Campos, the Mandalay Bay security guard who became the first person to make contact with Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock, subsequently disappeared. He canceled five media appearances last Thursday with most of the major broadcast and cable news networks, thereby throwing the terrible event’s already confusing timeline into turmoil as investigators and journalists tried to piece together precisely what happened. This Tuesday, however, The Ellen DeGeneres Show made a surprise announcement: Campos and Mandalay Bay maintenance worker Stephen Schuck would be appearing on Wednesday’s program.
Both men were forthcoming during their interview with DeGeneres, but Campos made it clear that he preferred not to revisit what happened October 1st in subsequent media appearances or rehashings. “You’re talking about it now and then you’re not going to talk about it again,” the host acknowledged her guest’s general discomfort. “I don’t blame you, because why relive this over and over?” At DeGeneres’ characterization of what doing additional media interviews would entail, Campos nodded in silent agreement.
Even so, both he and Schuck did share their harrowing experience outside the shooter’s hotel room. “I was walking down and heard rapid fire,” Campos recalled to DeGeneres. “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 cellphone just to clear radio traffic so they could coordinate the rest of the call.” That’s when Schuck, who entered the 32nd floor via a service elevator, saw Campos “hop out of the cubby” and heard the sounds of gunfire.
The security guard began shouting at him, telling him to “take cover” before Paddock had a chance to fire at him. “He yelled at me, and within milliseconds, if he didn’t say that, I would have got hit,” said Schuck. “I wasn’t fully in cover, and [shots] were passing behind my head and I could feel the pressure.”