'I saw blood': Las Vegas guard breaks silence on massacre
THE security guard who was the first to confront Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock has broken his silence on the terrifying encounter on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
Mandalay Bay staffer Jesus Campos was on duty the night the 64-year-old former accountant rained gunfire down on a music festival, killing 58 people and injuring 564 before turning the gun on himself.
Campos has maintained a low profile since the incident, leading to questions about his whereabouts after he cancelled scheduled television interviews and posted a sign outside his house telling media "no trespassing" on his property.
The young guard, who has been hailed a hero for his actions has apparently conducted his only interview on the subject, with DeGeneres saying he would not speak about it again.
Jesus Campos & Stephen Schuck, the 1st people to encounter the Las Vegas shooter, tell their story on my show today. https://t.co/RXfwNCWc7o— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 18, 2017
Talking quietly, avoiding eye contact and wearing a grey suit in a preview of the interview released to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Campos said he was "slowly but surely just healing physically and mentally."
He described how he was first on the scene after being called to check on a fire escape door that had been left open and found a "metal bracket holding the door in place."
The "out of the ordinary" discovery - which may suggest further planning by gunman Stephen Paddock - caused him to call down for an engineer to investigate.
"I heard what I believed was drilling sounds and I thought that they were in there working somehow," Campos said of the corner suite next-door that Paddock had rented and was using as a sniper's nest.
As he walked away from the room down the hallway, Paddock may have heard the door slam or spotted him on the cameras he had rigged on a service cart in the hallway. The unarmed guard was shot in the leg by what Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo called "strafing" - gunfire through a hotel suite door.
"As I was walking down, I heard rapid fire. At first I took cover. I felt a burning sensation. I went to go lift my pant leg up and I saw blood. That's when I called it in on my radio that shots have been fired," he said.
Meanwhile, building engineer Stephen Shuck had approached the 32nd floor via a service elevator from above to investigate what Campos reported. Shuck saw his colleague walking towards the end of the hallway and heard what he thought was a jackhammer.
"At the time I didn't know it was shooting. I thought it was a jackhammer and as an engineer I thought, 'we're not working up here. It's late at night, we wouldn't be doing that.'"
Campos yelled at him to take cover which he did "within milliseconds", narrowly missing bullets flying past his head.
"If he didn't say that I would have got hit," he said. "I wasn't even fully in cover and they were passing behind my head."
Campos also yelled at another woman who appeared in the hall to go back inside. Both men refused money for themselves but thanked the police, first responders, FBI and community for their work and support. They were presented with tickets to see their favourite games and a US$25,000 donation made to victims on their behalf.
Campos had previously gone to ground since the shooting and issued a request through his employer for his privacy to be respected, saying he would "tell his story at a time and place of his choosing".
His whereabouts prompted intense interest after he was hailed a hero and pictures of the door room to Paddock's suite showed the hail of gunfire he had been subjected to.
Police are yet to identify a motive for the meticulously planned shooting that saw Paddock stockpile semiautomatic weapons and ferry them to the room over four days.