On Sunday, October 1, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place. 64-year-old Stephen Paddock shot down at a crowd of over 20,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Paddock shot and killed at least 58 people and injured at least 500 more. He was shooting down from his 32nd-floor room at the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. Because there was no evidence of an accomplice or a motive, police are calling this a "lone wolf" attack.
On Tuesday, new details emerged about the timeline of the shooting, causing further questions to be raised. Sheriff Lombardo revealed that the new timeline indicates that Paddock shot over 200 rounds at the hotel security guard, Jesus Campos, a full six minutes before he started shooting down at concertgoers.
While these details caused people to question police efficiency, Campos has been hailed a hero for helping the SWAT team ultimately locate and stop Paddock from harming more people than he already had.
Now, however, a fake news story has been circulating the Internet, accusing Campos of being a second shooter in the Vegas attack. The story says that Campos has already been arrested, indicating that there is factual evidence of his involvement.
The original story was posted on a fake news site: cnn-internationaledition.com. While the source appears to be associated with CNN, it is not. In fact, according to WHOIS, the website was only registered one day before the article was posted.
The story even spelled the security guard's name wrong, calling him Jesus Compos instead of Jesus Campos.
It said, "(CNN) Breaking News - Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Compos has been arrested accused of being an accomplice and second shooter in the Las Vegas massacre that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured more than 500. Jesus Campos had originally been praised for his apparent heroics on October 1st, as he supposedly rushed to Paddock's suite, was shot in the upper thigh through the door, and continued to help get people to safety despite his wounds. However, FBI officials involved in the investigation now believe he was an accomplice of Paddock's, and was involved in the initial shooting as a second gunman from the other broken window in Paddock's 32nd-floor room."
The story said that investigators questioned "Compos" because he had a suspicious amount of gunpowder residue on his hand. They claimed that they had security footage of the guard smuggling in the firearms used in the massacre.
Several other media sources reported the story as real news, and it quickly went viral. Each site that posted the story said that the original source was "CNN."
Purveyors of fake news will often purchase domain names similar to those of mainstream media. Upon first glance, these stories can appear real, especially because the sites usually mix real and fake stories. The site reportedly added a disclaimer saying that they do sometimes publish fake news.
For now, it still appears that Paddock acted alone in this tragedy. We will continue to update as more information is revealed.
Please be praying for security guard Campos and his swift recovery, and that he would be sheltered from the fake story of his arrest. Please continue praying for other victims of the shooting as well. For other breaking news, read our latest article about the American hostage and family who was freed after years in captivity.