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Ellen Degeneres slot machine (courtesy
Jesus Campos is the Mandalay Bay security guard shot by spree killer Stephen Paddock before the murderer opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concert goers. A week after the incident, Mr. Campos agreed to interviews with NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News. Mr. Campos was a surprise no-show . . .

His union boss revealed that Campos “disappeared” immediately after a private meeting with MGM Grand executives. Campos re-emerged in public via the Ellen show [full interview below]. That seems a strange choice. Or not.

Ms. Degeneres and the Mandalay Bay’s owners, MGM Grand, are hardly strangers. Ms. Degeneres’ show and persona are the basis of a slot machine found in the Mandalay Bay hotel and elsewhere.

Assuming Ellen’s deal with slot maker IGT follows standard practice, the comedienne received a licensing fee for signing on and a percentage of every dollar spent by gamblers.

Given the time Ms. Degeneres devoted to the machines on her TV program, social media and through personal appearances — publicity worth tens of millions of dollars — her payout must be well into seven, maybe even eight figures. And ongoing.

In short, Ellen is in Las Vegas’ pocket.

So when Mr Campos’s MGM handlers apparently nixed his interviews with actual news programs and arranged a spot on the Ellen show, Ms. Degeneres was ready, willing and able to give the guard a platform to promote the idea that he was a hero.

‘MGM was behind the decision to call off all the interviews and did a deal with Ellen, knowing she would not play hardball on the timeline as long as she had the exclusive,’ a TV insider told

While that sounds more than a bit like a made-up source, it’s certainly true that the celebrity chat show host failed to ask the security guard the critical question which would have established his “courage”: what happened when?

Mandalay Bay hotel shooting timeline 3 (courtesy

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office official Mandalay Bay shooting timeline has changed three times now. (The Daily Mail article lists all three.)

The third version (above) followed a press release by MGM Grand. The casino operator’s timeline “answered” serious questions about the hotel’s response to the shooter raised by timeline number two (below).

Second Mandalay Bay hotel shooting timeline released by Clarke County Sheriff's Office (courtesy

Specifically, the gap between the moment Stephen Paddock shot security guard Jesus Campos and the moment Paddock opened fire on the crowd below his room shrank from six minutes to forty seconds.

Crucially, both MGM and Clark County’s timeline number three makes no mention about when — or even if — Mandalay Bay security called the Las Vegas police to raise the alarm about an active shooter.

Mandalay Bay hotel suite where Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22k (courtesy

As victims of Stephen Paddock’s indiscriminate slaughter lawyer-up, MGM Grand faces potentially billions of dollars in legal liability. No wonder, then, that reports . . .

Mandalay Bay and its corporate owner MGM Resorts have been ordered not to destroy anything that could be considered evidence in a civil negligence trial over events related to the Route 91 music festival.

Rachel Sheppard (courtesy

The order was sought by attorneys who represent Rachel Sheppard, a California woman who survived the attack, despite being shot in the chest three times.

The American mainstream media has dropped the ball on this story, preferring to highlight efforts to outlaw the pieces of plastic Stephen Paddock attached to his AR-15s and the 100-round ammunition magazines he used during his attack.

Truth be told, security guards and law enforcement can’t always prevent evil people from carrying out evil acts. But they can be prepared and react when they such an attack occurs. And they should be held accountable for their actions afterwards, so that we can learn from their successes. And failures.

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  1. What this whole situation needs is a good HONEST 3rd party After Action Review. Something that looks at everything to see if:
    1) The timeline is correct.
    2) The response was appropriate in terms of equipment, operators, and speed.
    3) The suspected shooter exhibited or did not exhibit indicators prior to the attack.
    4) The agencies involved in the original response responded correctly.
    5) The TTPs in place actually worked to make the response fast and efficient enough to actually save lives.
    6) Security at the event responded appropriately.
    7) Steps could’ve been taken to better secure the event and prevent this situation.
    8) Police response procedures could be improved.
    9) Hotel response could be improved.
    10) What caused any delays in an effective and appropriate response and how to fix the issues.

    But what do I know I’m just a lowly ATF agent named Bob commenting on a gun forum while at work…

      • That’s the huge hole in the response following these events. Everyone rushes to a legislative fix that ultimately wouldn’t have done a single thing, and completely ignores non legislative options that could have prevented it or reduced loss of life. Like better event planning or security at the event having a few counter snipers or marksmen placed in the rigging for the lights. Maybe even having patrol officers trained to breach a room during an active and on going threat. The hotel security could have patrolled more frequently and possibly caught the nut job drilling holes before he moved his guns in while he was mounting cameras. IF that’s how it went down I admit I don’t know if he had guns in the room when he mounted his cams.

      • While most of the MSM has ignored the story lately, Tucker Carlson is on it every night on FNC and had the same questions with the Ellen interview.

    • Agree with Bob on this. Needs to be federal because state and local governments are too easily intimidated by a large corporation that is used to throwing it’s weight around.

  2. I go to Las Vegas regularly. Last time I was in Vegas, I spent $400 on a Cirque show. Vegas used to be a town where the gambling paid for everything. Now a buffet is $30. Gimme a break.

    Guns. Love em.

  3. How MGM was negligent for the shooting I don’t see and the case should be thrown out……the cover up, or the perception of a cover up is a completely different story. Too bad liability and sue happy people will prevent the whole truth from coming out. When we gather in public places there is always an inherent risk. Security is kabuki theater to allow sheeple to feel safe and stupid criminals to change their minds. An intelligent, committed criminal or terrorist doesn’t give two $%:ts about security.
    At least Ellen deGenerate asked leading questions so Campos could remember the answers rehearsed with MGM lawyers.

    • The “throw our hands up in the air” defense ain’t gonna fly. The Mandalay Bay hotel has a legal obligation to protect its customers as best it can. You know, within reason.

      It’s reasonable to expect the hotel to call 911 when shots are fired on site. Sources tell us that calling the cops — and waiting — is and was standard protocol for an active shooter, as it is and was at other casinos and hotels.

      We now know Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos radioed security that he’d been shot. Called them on his cell as well. As did the building engineer who was with him. So the multi-billion dollar question is: did Mandalay Bay security call the cops?

      The 19 minute delay before Campos told the cops where Mr. Paddock was holed-up suggests that they did not. And if they did, the hotel may have failed to communicate that vital piece of information. Or the cops may have failed to communicate it to officers on site.

      Security may not prevent attacks, but it sure as hell should respond to them as effectively as possible.

      In The Pulse nightclub attack, there was a crucial time period in which lives could have been saved. Was that the case here? Given the changing story and MGM media massage, given the money at stake, I suspect there was.

      • “The “throw our hands up in the air” defense ain’t gonna fly. The Mandalay Bay hotel has a legal obligation to protect its customers as best it can. You know, within reason.”

        Really? And where did you get that idea? Sorry, Robert, it just ain’t so. The hotel has NO duty to protect against intentional criminal conduct of a third person absent prior knowledge or notice that the act is likely to occur and that adequate measures can be taken to prevent it. This is incredibly well established in the law. So they have a duty to protect against criminal intrusions into rooms (i.e. thieves) by providing adequate locks and/or limited access, but really, that’s about it when it comes to criminal misconduct. Further, you completely disregard the fact that the people who were shot WERE NOT customers of the Mandalay Bay, and WERE NOT injured on property owned or controlled by Mandalay Bay.

        • I forgot to add: Hey, remember that cinema in Aurora Colorado? Guess how much it paid out to the injured victims? They paid nothing. They got out on a motion for summary judgment on the basis that it owed no duty to the patrons to protect against the attack that occurred..

      • “The Mandalay Bay hotel has a legal obligation to protect its customers as best it can.”

        Disagree, vehemently. That’s so statist I don’t even know where to begin.

        • How is requiring an entity to take responsibility for enforcing its own policy “statist”?

          MGM is by its own choice gun-free — Nevada law does not mandate it. They failed to enforce that, with the result of numerous deaths and injuries. By simple logic, they are responsible for their failure. Government doesn’t enter into the equation at all.

      • Mark, I’m not a tort lawyer, but I don’t agree with your assessment, and there are several reasons why. Primarily it is the apparent fact that Mandalay Bay management allegedly allowed its own protocols to be violated, and in a fairly egregious way, which indicates to me a major distinction when compared with Aurora: Mandalay sends staff to check on rooms for which the occupant has left a “Do Not Disturb” sign up for more than twelve hours. Paddock kept such a sign up for multiple days. Additionally, during the period during which such checks were routinely ordered, mechanical damage to the room and stairwell doors would have been visible. I’d bet (yeah, yeah) that plaintiffs attorneys can get to discovery. Further, the threat emanated from Mandalay Bay, not from the concert field. If I allow, even through mere negligence, someone to set up a cannon and blast grapeshot at the baseball team playing in an adjacent park, you can assume I’ll face liability if credible proof of my negligence is proffered.

  4. I find it unacceptable that a casino with millions of dollars of cameras and security equipment, that won’t so much as allow you to whisper on the gambling floor, may have been so inept in this incident. Of course TTAG is happy to bash cops, and there are very few here who actually are able to question the massive potential failures of the private security guard(s) / guard system. Schools are strapped for cash, and it is forgivable (to an extent, anyway) that they have crappy security. Casinos are flush with cash. If I ran a casino there would be armed guards, ballistic shields, and much shorter response times to incidents on my own property.

    • What about housekeeping? I can’t believe someone could hide all that hardware. If he didn’t allow housekeeping into the room for 3 days then that should have raised a flag.

      • How so? Whenever I stay at any hotel, I always hang the “do not disturb” sign regardless of the length of my stay. If I need specific room service or housekeeping, I call the front desk and ask for it. I don’t want anyone in my room with my stuff when I am not there. Go walk through several halls of a hotel sometime and note how many doors have that sign hanging on the handle; certainly not all of them or even most of them, but enough that it is common place. My aunt worked in housekeeping in college and she has some crazy stories of the things she encountered doing that. No, the housekeeping maid isn’t going to notice room 301 hasn’t had service for 3 days when the room she just came from had two people in it that passed out from too much drugs and booze in the middle of butt-naked coitus.

        • IIRC, they’re required to do a check-in of some sort after a few days (a call to the room, for example) in the very plausible event someone is hurt & needs help after placing the sign, or has died/killed themselves and need to be scraped off the floor or untied from the ceiling fan.

      • Mandalay has a policy to check if the DND sign stays up for more than 12 hours. Suicides are not rare in Vegas, nor are drug overdoses. I actually know two people (not that well) who died of accidental overdoses in Vegas casino hotels. In both cases it was apparently downers, then drinking on the casino floor. They retired to their rooms because they felt sleepy, according to companions, and got the Big Sleep.

        I’ve never been to Vegas. I get invited to the SOA reunions, but never go. Too many fights over who was the bravest back when. I know it wasn’t me….

    • So what would you do? Post an armed guard on every floor? No, the casinos post their security where there is the greatest risk of a crime occurring–on the casino floor. Other than that, it is just a hotel like any other.

      • What would I do? Pretty simple, actually.

        I’d train my damn armed security guards. I’d have ballistic shields ready. I’ve already got armed private citizens on the premises, I’m already paying them, so I’m going to get some use out of them. We’d train in an active shooter protocol.

        My church has an active shooter protocol with volunteers who qualify with pistols 4 times a year and do more than 12 training days a year. The cost to our church is only about 2 grand per year. That’s peanuts compared to a membership of about 5,000. We all have radios, handcuffs, guns, “don’t shoot me” banners, and other equipment. The police know about our team and are on board. They know that we can help them search for and neutralize and active shooter. Why a massive casino that deals with millions of dollars can’t have better security still eludes me.

        After my military service and prior to working in law enforcement, I worked at Dunbar Armored. We were armed private security carrying millions in cash, checks, and jewelry. We sure did have security procedures in place against armed attack. Lots of them. I remember buying a Glock 35 and loading it with Hydra-shoks (this was 1997-99) with my own money because I didn’t feel comfortable with a 6 shot .38. Granted I’m much more invested in tactics and security than most, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that anyone with large amounts of cash needs to have a plan to deal with armed bad guys.

        • At the very least, a means of safely (for the guards/officers) breaching into a unit quickly kept on-site…since it’s not like there’s never a violent domestic incident with an antagonist that refuses to open up.

  5. Would be curious to see the bank statements from Campos in the next few years, and the details of said payments. Sure those are very, very quiet though. It would be interesting if his handlers weren’t the feds but rather MGM.

  6. Why is TTAG promoting this speculation which is close to conspiracy nonsense? Let the investigation run it’s course. I don’t come here to read this kind of content, and frankly it makes gun owners look paranoid. We’ve got enough PR problems as it is.

    • I’ve been in police work for almost 2 decades. Follow the money, and you’re most of the way there to figuring out crimes and intentions.

    • Then don’t read it and put your head back in the sand while your rights are stripped away by the rabid anti-gun zealots using the potential incompetence of the hotel as cover for their march.

  7. I think that you conspiracy theorists are missing something.

    Mandalay Bay is insured.

    Even if the hotel is found liable for the deaths and injuries, it won’t be paying most (or any) of the damages. If the company believes it is under-insured, it can purchase retroactive insurance. Yes, it can, and the company did so once before when it had too much exposure after a devastating hotel fire.

    In November 1980, the MGM Grand burned. 85 people died and hundreds were wounded. Five years later, the hotel’s insurers paid the hotel, which had made good on the third party claims. Insurers also paid the hotel for repairs.

    Insurance. It’s a thing.

    • If my car is stolen or my home is burglarized, the insurance company will pay the claim. But they’ll also check to see if I took prudent steps to prevent the crime, such as locking doors.

      If they find me lacking in due diligence, they can cancel my policy. I surmise that Mandalay Bay’s insurers have that same option. At some point, insurance companies refuse to do business with stupid. The incentive for Mandalay Bay to squelch evidence of incompetence is fairly apparent.

      • Good try — but silly nonetheless.

        Mandalay Bay ain’t a car owner or homeowner in Illinois. When the insurers refused to cover MGM’s claims after the fire — which was clearly and unequivocally MGM’s fault — the company ripped the insurers a new one. Not only did the insurance companies pay, but they actually paid more than MGM’s loss.

        • Ralph,

          I’m wondering if you actually read what I wrote. I did not suggest the insurance company would refuse to pay claims. I said the opposite. They will pay.

          I said the insurance company could cancel the policy. Other insurance companies could either refuse to cover them or do so at significantly higher premium costs.

        • Curtis, there are plenty of insurance companies who would be happy to accept the gigantic premiums that MGM pays. Just as they did after the MGM Grand fire.

          MGM doesn’t get placed into the “assigned risk” pool. MGM is a multibillion-dollar corporation. It isn’t us.

        • Did I miss something? I thought the interesting point was whether MGM Resorts would be found liable at trial, or concede in negotiations. Who cares who pays, as long as someone in privity with MGM does. At least that’s my general view in life. Deep pockets and all that.

    • Insurance is also a private entity, with overhead and personnel just like any other business. It’s not a charity for shooting victims.

  8. Vegas is run by money. The casinos are like the nsa. They know as much about you as possible and if you step out of line they have dirt somewhere. Are you sure you want to report this incident sir? I mean that wasn’t your wife you were spending time with in your room alone the other night was it?
    Yeah just like the feds the casinos would certainly cover this up to keep money flowing.

    • “The casinos are like the NSA.”

      Brother, you said a mouthful.

      I knew engineers who worked at IGT and Balley’s on the video poker, video slots and other gaming machines.

      The security clearance you have to go through to work at the NSA? Almost trivial compared to what the gambling machine makers put their engineers & technical support people through.

    • The casino’s pay 45% of Nevada tax revenues, to say nothing of the money generated indirectly for the benefit of the state. Casinos support the entire state. So they have a lot more power than the NSA.

      • If the NSA picks up communications that indicate organized crime is back in action in Vegas in a manner likely to be provable, they’ll do what they routinely do with drug dealers. They’ll pass the information to the FBI and tell them “if you can prove this by separately discovered evidence, go to it. Just leave us out of it.”

        When the Feds want Nevada, they get Nevada, at least on occassion. No?

  9. As the Mandalay Bay hotelcasino was a posted gun-free-zone, they had a civil responsibility to make sure that A GUEST DOESN’T BRING 30 FIREARMS AND THOUSANDS OF ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION UP INTO HIS SUITE. Someone there had to have known.

    You can bet they’re bleaching and shredding everything they think they can get away with.

    • No, no they do not. They have no right to search the private property/luggage of its guests–and if it claimed that right, it wouldn’t have many guests. There is NO authority for the proposition that a landowner who bans guns has a duty a to search everyone coming onto the property. Nor do I think that he dragged all those guns up the elevator just piled willy-nilly on a cart. Destroying evidence? The only evidence there would be would be security videos, which I am quite sure the police have already seized, along with the security logs.

    • Unfortunately, they have no such responsibility. If I had my way, any facility open to the public, regardless who owns or operates it, would have to choose between permitting legal carry or providing airport grade security. But that’s not the way the law reads now.

    • The Mandalay Bay hotel is NOT a “gun-free zone”. It happens to be situated in a city that does not allow civilian CCW, but that is not the fault of the hotel, per se.

      • Nevada has a state preemption law. LV and Reno have no special restrictions.

        Nevada’s laws and protections for those forced into self-defense are very much like Pennsylvania’s. Now if they would just accept PA LCF carry permits…..

  10. The city may not condone concealed carry, but you can damn well believe that many patrons have a handgun with them in thier room.

    • Where did you get the idea that LV does not “condone” concealed carry?

      Concealed carry is perfectly legal there with a Nevada CCW or a license from another jurisdiction that Nevada recognizes — like my Massachusetts LTC, for example.

      Open carry is legal in Nevada with no license. I’ve OCd on The Strip with no issues.

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