The cancellation of scheduled TV interviews last week by a hotel security guard wounded by the Las Vegas shooter raised questions Tuesday about the location of a key witness to the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
Jesus Campos “wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing,” MGM Resorts International spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in response to questions from The Associated Press about Campos’ whereabouts. “He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy.”
The company said Campos is on paid leave from his job at the Mandalay Bay resort, where he has worked since February 2015. The statement didn’t say where Campos is. It came after union leader David Hickey of Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America said Tuesday he last heard about Campos on Friday from a union member who texted that he was with him.
Hickey said Campos had been scheduled for a series of Thursday news interviews with five network shows when he got a message from the union member with Campos. The TV appearances were canceled.
“The message was, ‘We are taking him to a Quick Care,’ ” Hickey said, referring to a walk-in health clinic with several locations in and around Las Vegas. Hickey said he didn’t know which clinic, and he didn’t know if someone else was with Campos and the union member at the time. Hickey declined to name the union member with Campos.
The Friday text messages didn’t say where Campos was, Hickey said.
“We’re hoping to hear from Mr. Campos, and if Mr. Campos contacts us for assistance we will be there,” the union chief told AP.
Messages left by AP on Tuesday at telephone numbers associated with Campos were not returned. A woman entering the Campos family home who refused to be identified said he was not talking with reporters. The property was conspicuously posted with “No Trespassing” signs.
Campos has been the focus of intense interest after he was hailed as a hero in a scenario that had him unwittingly stopping gunfire into the Route 91 Harvest Festival crowd by arriving in the hotel hallway to investigate a report of an open door on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Fifty-eight people died, and police say 546 were injured.
Police and the FBI have yet to identify Paddock’s motive, despite hundreds of interviews — including with Campos; Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting; and with Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Florida.
Mandalay Bay maintenance worker Stephen Schuck described last week on NBC’s Today show seeing Campos in the hallway while both were pinned down by gunfire. Schuck then declined further interviews.
Campos, who was unarmed, was wounded in the leg by what Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo called “strafing” gunfire through a hotel suite door where Paddock had installed cameras in the peephole and on a service cart in the hallway to enable him to see anyone approaching.
The police timeline changed dramatically a week after the shooting, when Lombardo said Campos reported he had been wounded at 9:59 p.m. — six minutes before people in the concert crowd reported shots started coming from the Mandalay Bay. That meant Campos’ arrival didn’t coincide with the end of the 10-minute barrage of gunfire out the windows.
Lombardo changed that timeline yet again last Friday, saying that Campos had been dispatched to the 32nd floor at 9:59 p.m. and was actually wounded in the hallway less than a minute before gunfire started out the windows at 10:05 p.m.
Las Vegas police Officer Larry Hadfield, a department spokesman, said Tuesday that media concerns about Campos’ whereabouts weren’t hindering the investigation. Authorities have not lost track of Campos, aren’t concerned about his location and don’t believe he is in danger, Hadfield said.
A spokeswoman for the FBI in Las Vegas referred questions about Campos to police.
SOURCE: The Associated Press, Ken Ritter