Security company honors employee killed in Strip shooting

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L.E. Baskow

Angelica Cervantes with Miguel Cervantes receives a painting of her son Erick Silva fromBill Minson as Contemporary Services Corporation hosts a ceremony for the employee who lost his life while helping others at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The painting is by artist Renee McDonnell.

Fri, Dec 1, 2017 (4 p.m.)

Angelica Cervantes fought back tears as she embraced Jay Purves, Nevada vice president for Contemporary Services Corp., in a small parking lot just off the Las Vegas Strip.

In sight, less than 1,000 feet away, were the grounds where Cervantes’ son Erick Silva lost his life helping others to safety amid a barrage of gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1.

The 21-year-old Las Vegan and three-year CSC employee was remembered today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony before about 70 family members, CSC staffers and Las Vegas residents to dedicate the private security company’s training facility in his name.

“I’m very proud of Erick and I hope this training center can help develop more people like him,” Cervantes said in Spanish. “He will always be in our hearts.”

Silva was one of 58 people killed as a gunman fired thousands of rounds into the crowd from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. Silva was pronounced dead at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center after sustaining bullet wounds to the head.

A walk into the facility at 105 E. Reno Ave., which now carries Silva’s name on the front door, revealed a large plaque with a picture of Silva standing in his CSC uniform.

Next to the plaque, a framed display of his uniform was accompanied by a blue CSC medal and white gloves worn at his funeral on Oct. 12.

Cards and drawings from local elementary school students thanking CSC for its heroic actions during the Oct. 1 massacre hung on an opposite wall.

Purves presented an identical version of the plaque and framed uniform to Cervantes and Silva’s stepfather, Gregorio de la Rosa, moments before they cut the ribbon to rededicate the training facility.

“He was beloved son, a trusted friend and CSC family member,” said Purves, who along with CSC Manager Gina Argento had promoted Silva to supervisor just days before he was killed. “Hundreds of current and future team members of CSC Las Vegas will complete their training understanding the high expectations embodied by Erick Silva.”

The training facility welcomes about 600 CSC staffers and private contractors through its door each year, nearly all of whom contribute to the company’s dozens of annual jobs in the Las Vegas Valley, including the Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas Golden Knights games and NASCAR races, Purves said.

Other CSC staffers in charge of scheduling and recruiting also have their offices inside the Erick Silva Training Center.

A graduate of Las Vegas High School, Silva would work up to 20 hours a day during major events and was known for his ability to stop fence jumpers from sneaking into events without a ticket, Argento said.

Like so many other CSC staffers on duty on Oct. 1, Silva reacted heroically before his death. In his final moments of life, he helped people jump over the stage’s side barricade he normally protected to seek cover.

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