LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Friends are remembering and honoring a fallen Wynn security officer by raising money for his burial as well as applauding the decision by the company to enhance security protocols.
The Wynn says it has decided to equip officers with ballistic body armor after a security review of the resort's safety protocols was launched on Tuesday.
Earlier in the evening, security officer Yoseph Almonte, 31, was shot and killed by another employee as he was performing a welfare check. The employee had not shown up to work in a couple of days, according to police.
That employee, Reggie Tagget, 42, scanned his proxy card at the entrance of the Wynn employee parking garage, which alerted security to his presence at the property.
Police say as Almonte approached Tagget's vehicle, Tagget started shooting at Almonte, killing him.
Tagget shot and killed himself moments later.
Almonte was a Marine and described as a caring, loving man who inspired those he knew.
"The last couple of days have been devastating for us, at our gym, everybody is family," said Ash Nakano, Yoseph's friend at Sergio Penha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
"Yoseph was a great person," he added.
"It sounds cliché when you say, 'The person had a big heart.' It sounds cliché when you say, 'He was a nice guy,'" continued Nakano.
"But in our case -- Yoseph -- he was the nicest guy."
Yoseph earned his purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu, a moment he cherished but met with discipline.
The gym is coming together to help support Yoseph's wife with burial costs.
A Gofundme campaign as raised more than $80,000 as of Friday night.
The decision to beef up security protection is seen as an important step after the deadly shooting.
"That bullet-resistant vest, it's just another layer of protection, based upon that assignment," said Adam Coughran, a retired police officer and security expert.
Coughran says the shooting is a reminder of the dangers that security professionals face on a daily basis.
Coughran believes the decision by Wynn may spread to other Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
"I could see this very easily picking up momentum and steam at other properties whether it's an exterior vest or a more subdued interior vest," added Coughran.
Nakano applauds the decision to enhance security officer protection at the Las Vegas Strip property but wishes it had already been in place.
"It's tragic and I'm glad to see that they're going to be proactive and kind of reactive, but I wish they could've done it sooner," added Nakano.
A memorial for Yoseph Almonte is scheduled for Saturday in Las Vegas.