Dimebag Murdered, Shooting at Damageplan Show 


12-08-04
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(antiMUSIC) A fatal shooting occurred at a Damageplan concert on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. Dimebag Darrell (Abbot) was one of the victims.

Columbus, Ohio's NBC 4 reports that the shooting took place shortly after 10 p.m. at the Alrosa Villa where Damageplan was performing. 

NBC 4's reporter on the scene, David Wayne, initially reported that two members of the band, including Dimebag, were shot and killed and the gunman also died on the scene.  (updated) However, it was later learned that Dimebag was the only band member murdered. Two fans, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk as well as the band's head of security, Mayhem (Jeff Thompson) were also murdered.  Chris Paluska from the band's management company and the group's drum tech Cat (John Brooks) were both injured. Paluska is reportedly in critical but stable condition and Brooks is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Friday. 

A man reportedly stormed the stage and began shooting as Damageplan began their set, according to an eye witness. The gunman reportedly fired five or six shots at Dimebag before being tackled by a bouncer as he fire on the stage and into the crowd, according to witness accounts. The gunman was then shot and killed by a police officer on the scene, said Columbus police Sgt. Brent Mull. 

Damageplan was formed by Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul with Patrick Lachman and Bob Zilla. 

Dimebag and Vinnie were members of Pantera, and the sons of country and western songwriter and producer Jerry Abbott.

We will post more detail as they become available. There are conflicting unconfirmed reports about the second member that was killed. 

update: NBC 4 updated their report at 12:33 EST stating that 5 people were confirmed dead and the identity of the second band member that was murders has not been released.

AP reports that "Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull said a police officer shot and killed the gunman."  A witness told AP that a man in the jersey climbed onto the stage, started yelling and shot the Dimebag five or six times at close range. 

Blabbermouth reports: Scoop of the Columbus, Ohio radio station The Blitz 99.7 FM has confirmed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET that DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul was uninjured in the shooting incident at a Columbus nightclub which resulted in the death of Paul's brother, Dimebag Darrell. 

Update 2: Tin from music.tinfoil.net sent in an update: The shooter's name is Nathan Gale, 25, of Marysville. Police have released the names of two more people killed in the attack. Nathan Bray and Erin Halk were audience members there just to see a good show.

Witnesses say that Gale appeared from back stage and went straight for Dimebag. At first many of them thought it was part of the act, until the guitarist fell.

Witnesses also say that they were not searched nor was there any metal detectors.

The officer who shot and killed Nathan Gale is James D. Niggemeyer. He was on patrol near the club when the 911 calls came in. He entered the club and shot Gale during an apparent hostage situation. Police have apparently obtained a video tape recorded by an audience member and are examining it now.

Police report that two other people were also shot. They were taken to hospital. Their names and condition have not yet been released.

Update 3: Blabbermouth reports: Investigators in Columbus, Ohio say Gale, 25, had a hostage in a headlock when he was shot by a police officer. Police won't identify the hostage. 

Contradicting some of the other published eyewitness accounts, Fort Worth Star Telegram is reporting that DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul was also shot in the incident Wednesday night.

(later update: see link above for a lot more info) None of the other DAMAGEPLAN bandmembers were hurt in the Columbus, Ohio shooting incident that resulted in the death of the group's guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, a source close to the band has confirmed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Meanwhile, several people that have had conversations with Dimebag's former PANTERA bandmate, singer Philip Anselmo (currently in SUPERJOINT RITUAL), early this morning are reporting that the frontman is "devastated" by the news of Dimebag's death.

Update 4: NBC4i.com reports: Jeff Thompson, 40, from Texas, was later identified as the fifth shooting victim.

Update 5 Partial Transcript of Police press conference from CNN: 
Sgr Brent Mull, Columbia, Ohio Police Department: (speaking about the officer that killed the gunman) He is a five-year veteran. He's assigned to this district on late watch. He entered through the rear of the facility. He was motioned to come in by someone inside and told that there was an active shooter inside.

The officer was able to identify that active shooter obviously immediately. The officer was forced to engage in gunfire with this suspect. From what we understand, he did have a hostage.

The officer was able to strategically gun this guy down before he was able to kill his hostage. And it appeared that he was about to kill his hostage when the officer basically put an end to it.

And again, I can't say enough of his abilities, his skills, and the way he went about and conducted this investigation. And keep in mind, as he was coming into this scene, he was getting more calls coming in, stating that there was one shot, there was two people shot, multiple gunfire. 

The officer ran in without any backup, from what I'm being told at this time. And obviously put himself at risk with everybody else.

Right now I want to give you the gunman's name. We have identified him as Nathan Gale. He's a male white, 25 years old, last known address believed in the Marysville area.

Darrell Abbott was a member of the band. He was 39 years old. He was one of the ones that was a victim of the gunman.

The second victim, Nathan Bray -- B-R-A-Y, male, white, 23 years old. We believe he was a fan enjoying the concert.

I have Erin Halk, E-R-I-N H-A-L-K, male, white, 29 years old. Unknown if he was a fan or a member of the band.  (more)
 

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