June 20, 2018 - 12:34 pm
Updated June 20, 2018 - 9:24 pm
Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos shows his leg wound to the first officers arriving on the 32nd floor in the latest body camera footage released by Las Vegas police from the Oct. 1 attack.
“I don’t know if it’s a pellet or a .22,” Campos says as he turns to show the two officers his leg. A small trickle of blood can be seen, and Campos walks with a limp.
As the two officers peek down the hallway toward Stephen Paddock’s suite, Campos can be heard saying, “Hey, you guys, the direction on shooting is probably the peephole, so look out for that.”
“Is he shooting down this way?” one of the officers asks.
“He was. That’s how I got shot,” Campos says.
No shooting can be heard in the most extensive video yet from the 32nd floor, suggesting the attack may already be over, the shooter dead.
The footage was part of the seventh release since a Nevada Supreme Court decision in April compelled the Metropolitan Police Department to begin handing over the records, which the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media organizations sued for in the days after the mass shooting.
Wednesday’s batch of records also included 22 other clips of varying lengths from officer-worn cameras and dozens of 911 calls from the late hours of Oct. 1 and the early hours of Oct. 2.
The Review-Journal previously received more than 3,000 pages of witness and officer reports, surveillance video and body camera footage from two officers who helped breach the gunman’s suite.
Metro is expected to release another batch of records next Wednesday.
Guard elusive after attack
The ambush on the Route 91 Harvest festival left 58 concertgoers dead and hundreds more injured.
Campos was the first to encounter the gunman, who fired at the security guard through the closed doors of his suite on the 32nd floor.
The guard’s account of that night quickly became the subject of a worldwide media frenzy, but after the shooting he abruptly canceled five national television interviews and disappeared, only to turn up days later on “Ellen” in an episode broadcast Oct. 18. It remains the only interview he has given.
Campos shows up for only about three minutes in almost two hours of body camera footage recorded by officer Monty Fetherston, who was working traffic duty near the concert grounds that night.
Metro has refused to identify any of the officers whose body camera footage has been released under court order, but Fetherston’s written report from that night matches perfectly with the video from the 32nd floor.
Once the shooting started, Fetherston and officer Jeremiah Beason rushed toward Mandalay Bay from the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Reno Avenue.
Fetherston’s body camera kicks on as the two are working their way to the front of the resort amid barrages of gunfire.
Beason tries to report that the shots are coming from an upper floor at the north end of Mandalay Bay, but he can’t get through on the radio.
‘Is he still shooting?’
The men run through an eerily empty valet area yelling for security before finding a guard at the top of an escalator near the lobby. The man leads them to a service elevator where another guard is waiting to ferry them to the 32nd floor.
As the elevator rises, chiming at each floor it passes, Beason asks the guard if they will be able to access the shooter’s room. Then he turns to his partner and asks, “What do you want to do? Do you want to make entry? We’re going to have to.”
“We’re going to have to, yeah,” Fetherston replies.
“Do we want to wait for two more, or do we want to just make entry? Is he still shooting?” Beason says.
“I don’t know,” Fetherston says. “I don’t know if anyone else is close. I think everyone else is pinned outside.”
They get off the elevator and walk down the hall to the center of the 32nd floor, where they meet Campos and several other resort security and maintenance staff members.
Beason tries again to make contact with dispatch but can’t get through. “F—-ing radio,” he says.
The officers wait at the end of the quiet hallway leading to Paddock’s suite for about two minutes before two more officers arrive on the floor. Then four more after them.
They form up and begin working their way down the hallway, moving from alcove to alcove, room to room, evacuating any guests they find along the way.
As the team uses master keys to open doors and clear guest rooms, two officers provide cover, pointing their assault rifles at the doors of the now-quiet suite at end of the hall. “He’s precision. I’m full auto,” one of the riflemen says.
The team of officers has been clearing rooms for about 20 minutes when the SWAT team arrives on the 32nd floor. An unseen SWAT officer tells them to stay where they are while a strike team approaches the suite from a nearby stairwell.
While they wait, the officers share water and sports drinks from the minibars in the rooms and take turns covering the hallway with their rifles. One man checks his phone.
They compare notes about what has happened so far, pointing out bullet holes in the walls from when Campos was wounded.
“Is it true there’s two or three suspects?” one man says.
“There could be,” another man says. “We were down at the concert, and Pat and I thought there were at least two, possibly three, the way people were dropping.”
Fetherston and Beason are still in the hallway 20 minutes later with their fingers in their ears when the SWAT team blasts open the door to the shooter’s suite. Smoke from the explosive charge sets off the fire alarms.
Baby found alone
As SWAT officers pour into the suite to find Paddock dead, Fetherston and company rush to clear out the last remaining rooms closest to where the attack was staged.
In room 32-130, just a few doors down from the shooter’s, officers find a baby alone in a darkened room with no adults present.
As one of them picks up the crying child, a woman being evacuated from the room across the hall says the baby is with her.
She would turn out to be the child’s nanny. The boy’s parents were at Route 91, where his father was performing as a DJ. The couple hid inside a bus near the stage and were reunited with their son and his nanny at Town Square later that night.
It is unclear why the infant was alone.
Fetherston and Beason spend the rest of the video rechecking rooms they were already in, this time looking for bodies or people hiding, too afraid to leave. They also help evacuate guests from the other wings of the 32nd floor.
After a while, the officers take a short break in an empty room, where they rehydrate and watch a few minutes of the news on TV.
After a deep breath and a big gulp of Gatorade, Beason says, “Unbelievable, bro. Unbelievable. We knew it was just a matter of time.”
“Yep,” Fetherston says, then the two go back to work.
Contact Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Rachel Crosby, Mike Shoro, Briana Erickson, Wade Tyler Millward, Amelia Pak-Harvey, Natalie Bruzda, Katelyn Newberg and Meghin Delaney contributed to this report.