The Wynn Las Vegas security officer shot to death last week in a murder-suicide at the resort was a Marine Corps veteran who “went down with a fight,” his wife said.
Yoseph Almonte, 31, was shot and killed in a Wynn Las Vegas employee parking lot on March 9. Another employee, Reggie Tagget, 42, killed himself after shooting Almonte, police said.
Nationally, Almonte is one of two casino security officers shot last week. The other was shot in the stomach in a gun battle with patrons outside the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Ark. The Saracen guard was expected to survive. One suspect in the shooting, Brandon Burnett, turned himself in Monday, police said.
Marjorie Almonte, 36, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal her husband and other Wynn guards went to the fifth floor of the garage that evening to check on Tagget, who had not been at work for two days. Tagget had used his employee badge to enter the garage. That triggered an alert that he was on the property. Wynn Las Vegas is on the east side of the Strip.
Almonte, honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2017, was the only armed Wynn security officer at the scene. He approached Tagget, who remained seated in his car. Tagget had been there for more than an hour waiting for his former wife, according to what police told Marjorie Almonte.
Almonte exchanged a few words with Tagget and tried to help him out of his car, then was shot eight times in the torso. Tagget got out of the car and ran. Almonte returned fire, shooting him once in the back, Marjorie Almonte told the newspaper. Tagget then shot himself, police said.
Marjorie Almonte said her husband was protecting the other officers with him.
“He went down with a fight,” she said. “I’m so proud of him.”
Wynn to Provide Body Armor
Almonte, a Wynn employee for three years, was not wearing a bulletproof vest. The resort had told guards that vests might intimidate customers, Marjorie Almonte told the Review-Journal.
If my husband had a vest, he would have had a chance to at least go to the hospital, because if you get hit maybe you have internal bleeding or bruising,” she said. “The impact can be bad, but he would have had a chance, the chance he deserved, and he never got that chance.”
The company has since said it will issue ballistic body armor to armed security officers.
‘My Best Friend’
The Almontes had recently bought a house in Henderson and were planning on moving into it within days, the newspaper reported. They hoped to start a family soon.
A purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Almonte was studying to become an emergency medical technician, hoping one day to be a nurse. The Almontes planned to move some day to Denver, where they would have a bigger wedding than the one they had in July in downtown Las Vegas, she told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, they were enjoying their lives together, a couple of money-saving homebodies who liked watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey and other television shows.
“He was my best friend,” Marjorie Almonte told the newspaper. “We did everything together. In two years we never fought. I cannot explain. He was the perfect person. The chapter was cut so short, so soon. My husband should be here right now.”
Marjorie Almonte told KLAS-TV her husband will be buried in New York, where he was from. Wynn officials told her the company would help pay for funeral expenses, she said.
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