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‘This is like war’: Northridge security firm loses staffer amid chaos of Las Vegas mass shooting

By in Press Enterprise on October 6, 2017

By Elizabeth Chou

Damon Zumwalt started his Northridge-based security company, Contemporary Services Corporation, in 1967 amid safety concerns that revolved mainly around clashes at rock concerts between the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club and police.

Over the years the company’s yellow uniform, emblazoned with their name “CSC,” have become ubiquitous at most major events in California and across the country. Their security staffers are often the first to respond and evacuate the large crowds during big incidents, including major acts of nature, such as tornadoes and wind storms.

But on their 50th anniversary, the company found itself in the middle of one of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history.

It claimed the life of one of the company’s staffers, 21-year-old Las Vegas resident Erick Silva, along with 57 others killed by a gunman perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Zumwalt said he was in Northridge Sunday evening, when he got a call from his Las Vegas manager, Jay Purves.

It was after the “very first volley of shots” that sprayed into the crowd they were overseeing, he said.

“Damon, active shooter,” Purves told his boss.

Purves was rattling off instructions about what to do next, when Zumwalt heard machine guns. He was about to ask his manager if he was OK, when they lost contact.

“My first fear was my manager was shot,” Zumwalt said.

Purves was unhurt. He had hung up the call after hearing on the radio that one of his employees had been shot. He noticed some flashes coming from the window of the Mandalay Bay hotel, but he couldn’t be sure if it was only anything other than just a reflection. His first thought was that the active shooter was inside the venue.

Meanwhile, back in Northridge, Zumwalt was watching video clips of the shooting. He says he saw many of his […]    

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