Cassandra Sosa parlayed her artistic eye and inspiration from her family to earn something that may help ease her transition into adulthood: free pizza for life.
The Chaparral High School senior was surprised Thursday, one week before graduation, to learn she had won a contest to design a mural honoring two Metropolitan Police Department officers who were slain in 2014 while dining at the Cicis Pizza restaurant at 309 N. Nellis Boulevard.
The restaurant held the competition to create a permanent memorial honoring Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, who died while eating lunch there in an ambush that ended in a shootout at a nearby Walmart. The mural designed by Sosa will be unveiled at the restaurant June 7, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the attack.
Sosa’s mural, chosen from among roughly 100 entries from Clark County School District students, shows hands holding a law enforcement badge in the shape of a heart, with a waving American flag in the background. The officers’ names and badge numbers are also featured.
Sosa said she wanted to honor the officers and their families, but also her sister and brother-in-law who are in the military.
“The entire time I was just thinking about her, and I wanted to make her proud,” she said of her sister.
Cicis owner Bill Badruddin said he bought the store in 2016 — after the shooting — to be a part of the community.
“This community support after the shooting was amazing,” he said. “I was like, ‘There’s something bigger than a restaurant right here.’ ”
Badruddin will have an artist recreate Sosa’s mural on a wall inside the restaurant, where a plaque currently commemorates the officers’ sacrifice.