Casino company seems to be in touch with missing security guard Jesus Campos
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, right, overlooks an outdoor festival grounds across the street, left, Tuesday, shown Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press)
The company that owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino implied Tuesday that it was in touch with wounded security guard Jesus Campos, who seemingly vanished last week as questions mounted over the Las Vegas casino’s response to the Oct. 1 mass shooting.
MGM Resorts International issued a statement on Campos’ behalf Tuesday after the Los Angeles Times submitted a request to interview the Mandalay Bay security guard. Campos was shot in the leg by gunman Stephen Paddock inside the hotel shortly before Paddock began shooting at a concert across the street.
“Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing,” spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a written statement. “He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy. We could not be more proud of Jesus.”
Campos mysteriously left a Las Vegas hotel room last Thursday where he was preparing for televised interviews on the Sean Hannity show on Fox, as well as news shows on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC. No interviews took place.
David Hickey, president of the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America union that represents the security guards at Mandalay Bay, previously told The Times that he was attending a meeting with MGM representatives in one room of the suite as Campos waited with a security guard — hired by MGM — and another union member in the living room.
When the meeting ended about 2 p.m., Hickey said Campos no longer was in the room.
“When I got in touch with the other union member, I was told Campos was taken to the Quick Care” health clinic, Hickey said. Hickey didn’t hear from the guard afterward and announced to a scrum of reporters that night that Campos had canceled interviews. Campos didn’t contact his union in the days after he walked away.
Campos has not publicly given his account of how the attack unfolded, and officials have given conflicting stories about the unarmed guard’s encounter with Paddock, raising questions about how the hotel responded to the attack when the massacre, which killed 51 and injured more than 500, began.
Las Vegas police initially stated that Paddock shot Campos through the door of his hotel suite on the 32nd floor midway through his attack on the concert, essentially crediting Campos with turning Paddock’s attention away from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival across the street.
But police later said that Campos was shot six minutes before the attack began, and then officials changed their story again, stating that Campos was shot moments before Paddock began his attack on the concert.
Police and casino officials have said that Campos promptly reported the gunman to hotel security and that police officers and armed security responded immediately to the 32nd floor, where Paddock had a suite.
But the first officers to get to the floor arrived 12 minutes after Paddock had launched his assault on the crowd — and two minutes after he had stopped shooting — raising questions about how quickly the hotel had informed officers on the scene about Campos’ report.
Times staff writers Jaweed Kaleem, Melissa Etehad and Ruben Vives contributed to this report.
Matt Pearce is a national reporter for The Times. Follow him on Twitter at @mattdpearce.