Las Vegas Sun

September 24, 2018

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Oct. 1 shooting, 6 months later:

Survivors, heroes of tragedy leave lasting legacies

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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.

Gina Argento hired Erick Silva at Contemporary Services Corp. back in 2014, opening the doors for where Silva would spend up to 20 hours a day for the next three years working mega-events like Electric Daisy Carnival, Life is Beautiful, NASCAR and Route 91 Harvest Festival to support his family.

“He was a strong yet very sweet person who we could count on for anything and everything,” she said. “It was refreshing to see him every day, and [it’s] impossible to put into words how much he’s missed.”

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 to seek cover.

James Garrett assigned Silva to his CSC posts and often worked alongside the 21-year-old. Garrett, who teaches CSC’s weekly training class for newly hired employees in a building named after Silva, honors his memory each Tuesday by telling Silva’s heroic story.

With the Mandalay Bay and Route 91 Harvest Festival grounds in plain sight from CSC’s Las Vegas office, Garrett said Silva’s legacy is forever etched in the hearts of the CSC and Las Vegas community.

“His legacy is a reminder of the seriousness of our job and what exemplary service looks like,” he said. “And it has brought us closer together.”

Pat and Colli Amico: Festival attendees

Pat and Colli Amico had been to several Route 91 Harvest Festival events, and on Oct. 1 the couple had VIP tickets to the festival’s Neon Lounge.

During the shooting chaos, they drove many to safety in the bed of their pickup truck and made sure those who were shot received medical treatment.

Six months later, the couple still keep in contact with the survivors.

NBA Summer League

What: Pat Amico will play his song “58 Angels” during the NBA’s Summer League, which chooses a charity to donate to each year. For 2018, they will donate to the Victims Fund.

When: July 11

Where: Thomas & Mack Center.

Pat, a musician, co-penned the song “58 Angels” with relatives after meeting the son of one of the 58 victims.

The song’s proceeds go directly to the Las Vegas Victims Fund.

“Our first responders did such a fantastic job, and the people — with the love, singing, support, blood donations and the assistance of clothing and food. They’re still here today, and they care, and we can tell by the amount of stickers in car windows. We see those everywhere now. Vegas Strong didn’t go away after the effect,” Pat said. “Vegas Strong is still here today, and it’s not just the Route 91 survivors, it’s the community that is Vegas Strong and [it] brought us together.”

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Shooting survivor Nick Robone, UNLV assistant hockey coach, responds to a question during an interview following a remembrance ceremony at UNLV Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

Nick Robone: Associate Head Coach of UNLV Rebel hockey

As the UNLV Rebel hockey team participated in their final practice of the season in early March, Associate Head Coach Nick Robone skated around the ice, directing his players. Being in the place he loves most — the hockey rink — with the squad, wasn’t a given.

Robone was shot in the chest on Oct. 1. His fast-acting brother, Anthony Robone, a paramedic, stabilized him at the scene before transport. Robone underwent surgery to remove the bullet that narrowly missed his lungs.

After waiting for his wound to heal, Robone began six weeks of strenuous physical therapy. He then focused on stretching, breaking down some of the scar tissue around the wound and then, finally, building up the muscle he lost during recovery.

Robone said he is about 98 percent recovered physically, but with bones in his chest still healing, he is not able to play hockey just yet.

“Muscle-wise I’m in great shape, and I’m just thankful to the doctors and surgeons that did a great job,” he said.

Billy Tufano, festival attendee and friend of Nick Rabone

The night of Oct. 1, Billy Tufano applied pressure to the gunshot wound in the chest of his childhood friend, Nick Robone. At Sunrise Hospital, a nurse asked Tufano if the blood covering him was his own or someone he loved.

Six months later, Tufano is happy to report that Nick is doing great and healing ahead of schedule.

In December, Nick, Anthony, Tufano and the group of friends at the concert went to Hawaii, a trip Tufano and Nick planned before the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

“We got to spend a week celebrating life and enjoying each other,” Tufano said. “Everybody’s been really, really supportive. It affected the whole city, even though it was something my group of friends went through, even the ones that weren’t there, they’re always making sure everybody is doing okay.”

Charles Bethea, a New York reporter

Like many other reporters from around the world, New Yorker magazine’s Charles Bethea flew into Las Vegas to cover the aftermath of the Oct. 1 shooting. For three days, he scoured the city for leads, interviewing survivors, arms dealers, video poker experts. Then he was off to cover breaking news elsewhere, including the recent mass shootings in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Parkland, Florida. How does writing about the same type of tragedy over and over again affect the soul? “It’s kind of unreal,” Bethea said. “If you’re an empathetic person, you feel a certain amount of trauma. But I don’t [think] it’s anywhere close to what it’s like to actually go through it.” Still, he said he’s been more emotionally volatile in the last six months, and a busy writing schedule has kept him from pausing to process what he’s seen in a “big-picture way.”

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.