LAS VEGAS — When Air Pressure veteran Jay Purves first heard the pop-pop-pop on the Las Vegas nation music pageant, he knew instantly it was gunfire.
Purves and his colleagues at a personal safety agency manning the Route ninety one Harvest pageant Sunday night time have been a drive of 200 unarmed first responders who lifted individuals over obstacles, hid them behind pillars and underneath the stage, and funneled them to exits amid the panic.
One of many Modern Providers Company guards died and two have been wounded when a gunman on the thirty second flooring of the Mandalay Bay lodge on line casino throughout the road opened hearth on the outside pageant, killing fifty eight individuals and injuring almost 500 others.
Now, regardless of the recent trauma and dropping one among their very own, most of the firm’s guards — “the yellow shirts,” Purves calls them — are returning to work this weekend.
Supervisor Cheryl Metzler placed on her uniform Friday to work a UFC weigh-in, her first occasion because the capturing. She was anxious however stayed composed till it got here time to thank different CSC guards who got here in from out of state to assist.
“I type of broke down a bit bit,” she stated.
Purves, the vice chairman of CSC’s Las Vegas department, stated personal safety guards usually are not all the time taken critically as a result of they aren’t regulation enforcement.
“We’re those typically within the background, within the shadows, however we have been truly those proper there within the thick of all of it,” he stated.
The employees has labored occasions on the venue earlier than and was already reeling a bit from Saturday, the second night time of the pageant, when a drunken attendee punched one among their guards within the face.
Metzler was working Sunday in a command middle that resembles a delivery container, watching the live performance on seven giant surveillance screens, when somebody referred to as to ask if there have been alleged to be pyrotechnics on the present.
“We thought fireworks,” she stated of the popping sound. “However then it stored going.”
As individuals started to flee, the guards fanned out throughout the venue, coaxing shell-shocked concertgoers too frightened to maneuver to go to a safer spot.
Early within the chaos, Purves received a name on his radio: “Erick’s been hit and is down,” referring to 21-yr-previous worker Erick Silva.
Silva, assigned to the entrance of the stage, off to the aspect the place the soundboard was stored, was shot within the head whereas serving to individuals climb over a barricade.
Purves began operating to him. On the best way, he obtained one other name on the radio. A second guard, Jeff…