As Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 concert goers on the streets below his 32nd floor hotel room in Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jesus Campos, a hotel security guard, was patrolling the halls of the hotel. The crowd below didn’t immediately react to the sound of the rapid gunfire as country music singer Jason Aldean performed, but within seconds, bodies began to hit the ground, and panic ensued.
Campos heard the call over the radio and was dispatched the 32nd floor, where smoke alarms were going off in one of the rooms. He made his way to the stairs, only to find that they had been barricaded. Campos was not aware that Paddock had set up cameras in the hallway outside his room, and would be alerted of his approach before he even reached the door.
As Campos made his way to the door of Paddock’s suite, the gunman turned his attention on the approaching security guard, firing a burst of rounds through the door from his modified AR platform, equipped with a bump-stock that permitted a rate of fire comparable to that of an automatic weapon. Campos, on the other hand, was unarmed.
According to David Hickey, president of the union that represents the hotel’s security guards, Campos was hit by one of those rounds in his upper right thigh, a miracle, as Paddock reportedly fired as many as 200 rounds in the security guard’s direction.
“It’s amazing that that [sic] security guard didn’t sustain additional injury.” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said on Wednesday.
Despite being shot, Campos was not done. He called police with his phone, providing them with the exact room the shooter was in. When they arrived, he provided them with the key card for the door, although law enforcement ultimately opted to use explosives to breach the room.
“His bravery was amazing because he remained with our officers, providing them the key pass to access the door and continued to help them clear rooms until our officers demanded he seek medical attention,” said Lombardo.
Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill also commented on Campos’ actions, calling them “very heroic. According to McMahill, Campos’ decision to move toward the sound of gunfire saved the lives of countless civilians on the street, as Paddock diverted his attention away from the slaughter and toward the approach of security and law enforcement.
Ultimately, Stephen Paddock took the lives of 58 innocent people, and injured more than 500 more, but thanks to the bravery of one hotel security guard, that number wasn’t higher. When reached for questioning by ABC News however, Campos shrugged away the moniker of hero, as so many have before him.
“I was just doing my job.”
Image courtesy of the Associated Press