One of the heroic stories that came out of the tragedy in Las Vegas on October 1st–where Stephen Paddock opened fire from a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay resort, killing 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history–was that of Jesus Campos, the unarmed security guard who was the first person to find the shooter. While the security guard was able to radio in Paddock’s location–which was forwarded to Las Vegas police in pursuit–the shooter saw Campos coming via cameras he had rigged in the hallway, and shot through his door into the hallway. Despite one bullet catching his leg, Campos refused to go to the hospital, instead helping clear out guests on the 32nd floor of the hotel.
Since October 1st, however, Campos had been out of the public eye, leading some to believe that he had “disappeared,” as the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, due to him missing interviews with various media outlets. That is no longer the case, as Campos made his first post-shooting appearance on The Ellen Show–in an episode that will air at 3PM EST on Wednesday–wherein he talked about the night of the shooting, as reported by ABC News.
In what he said will be his only public comments about what happened, Campos spoke about how he first thought the gunshots were drilling noises, and it was only when Paddock began firing that he took cover and noticed that his leg was bleeding: “As I was walking down, I heard rapid fire, 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.”
Campos–who walked out onto the set with a walking cane–also gave an update on his recovery since the shooting: “I’m doing better each day, slowly but surely. Just healing mentally and physically.” The 8-minute-long emotional interview saw Campos break down a couple of times, being comforted by both Ellen DeGeneres and Stephen Schuck, the building engineer that accompanied him onto the show.
Aside from stopping Schuck from approaching the door–the engineer had been called to the floor to deal with what was identified as a “stuck door”–Campos also told an unidentified woman to go back into her room, rather than walking towards the sounds. As DeGeneres states, it’s likely that he saved multiple lives by doing so, at which point Campos nearly breaks down in tears.
As a way to honor both Campos and Schuck, DeGeneres presented the pair with NFL-related surprises: Schuck will be flown out to meet the Indianapolis Colts, his favorite team, while Campos is receiving season tickets for the Raiders once they move to Las Vegas in 2019. The show also made a $25,000 donation in Campos’ name to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund.