Hundreds pay respects at funeral for security guard killed in Strip shooting
The local security guard who lost his life on '1 October' while saving others, has been laid to rest.
It was standing room only at the funeral for Erick Silva as the 21-year-old’s family, friends, and coworkers paid their final respects.
The Las Vegas resident was working security at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival the night when his life — full of promise — was cut short, too soon.
Silva is a hero. He was standing at the front of the stage when the shots began ringing out, making him one of the very first people to respond. Witnesses say he was helping panicked concertgoers to safety when he was shot and killed.
On Thursday at his funeral, hundreds came out, even spilling out to the lobby. Dignitaries Steve Sisolak and Catherine Cortez Masto joined his loved ones in paying their respects.
The 21-year-old was born in California but was raised in Las Vegas. He graduated from Las Vegas High School.
Silva was one of 200 Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) security guards working the festival the night of the deadly mass shooting.
Jay Purves, the Vice President of CSC Nevada, tells News 3 that Silva proudly began working security for the company at age 19. Over the last three years, he says Silva helped keep people safe at many events including E.D.C. and Life is Beautiful. He adds that Silva had just been promoted and the company had made plans to send him to a Supervisor training course after the Route 91 Festival.
Purves says Silva was "outgoing," his family’s main provider, and that even in the end, he "always put others first."
Tylaicha Price knows the tears will come later. But for now, it's the sweet memories that come to mind, reflecting on the life of Silva, a man she calls her best friend.
"Erick was a strong hero, very brave," said Price. "Erick and I laughed 24/7. We had a laugh box that just breaks all the time."
Among those paying their respects were Cortez Masto and Sisolak, who told the crowd he's watched hundreds of videos from that night -- and one thing stands out.
"I saw yellow shirts running into danger when everyone else was trying to escape," said Sisolak.
“When the shots started happening, he started pulling people over the barricade to get them to safety, to evacuate on the east side of the venue. As he was doing that, that’s when he was hit by one is the bullets,” says Purves.
Friends also say Silva had dreams of becoming an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and possibly of owning his own security company. Instead, his memory will live on.
Purves says plans are in the works to name a training facility after the 21-year-old, directing his namesake as the prime example of what it means to protect others as a #VegasStrong security guard.
Still, those who knew him best say his sacrifice is no surprise, even while the city, itself, begins to heal.
"It's stronger than I can even talk about. It's nice to see it, I'm proud to be from Vegas," said Silva's co-worker Gina Argento.