August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004
Darrell Abbott, better known as Dimebag Darrell rose to fame with the Multi-platinum selling metal band Pantera, who defined a Genre in the world of metal. Dimebag has been referred to by such people as Eddie Van Halen and Brian May as the best guitarist in the world of metal, and one of the best ever. In 2000 pantera split up, and Dimebag along with his brother Vinnie Paul (Pantera drummer) made the band DamagePlan leaving the remaining two members of Pantera to focus on their side project bands.
On December 8th 2004 DamagePlan were sceduled to play at the Alrosa Villa, Columbus, Ohio. The Alrosa Villa was a famous metal venue, and a venue Dimebag had been to many times before in the early stages of Panteras rise to the major leagues. At around 4pm the band arrived at the club greeted by many fans who were luckily enough to meet the band and take photos with them. One of those men was Nathan Gale, a College footballer who’d been kicked out of the marines due to mental problems. However band security had prevented Gale from gaining access to the band, and he then left the area.
Later that night, after the support acts had headed off stage, DamagePlan took to the stage to begin their first song of the eveing, Breathing New Life. Not 30 seconds into this song, a struggle was seen to the left of the stage (as the crowd look at it) and suddenly Nathen Gale ran onto the stage, grabbed Dimebag by the arm and pumped atleast 5 rounds from a Beretta 9mm pistol into the back of his head.
Gale then went on a rampage, as security, roadies and members of the audience tried to hold him back. In all Gale shot 6 people, killing 4 (Including Dimebag). One of the others killed was Jeffrey “Mayhem” Thompson, a long time member of Security who had been with Dimebag and Vinnie since the Pantera days. “Mayhem” had died trying to hold Gale back who in turn shot and killed “Mayhem”. Another killed was fan Nathan Bray who had jumped up onto the stage and attempted to revive Dimebag. As Bray was attempting to do so the killer turned to Bray and shot him point blank in the head, before pumping yet another round into Dimebags already dead and gone body. The third of the deaths was Erin Halk, who was an employee of the club who’s job it was to load gear onto the trucks. Erin was another of the brave guys who had attempted to stop Gale but took a bullet himself. The final 2 who took a bullet but survived were members of the bands road crew, Chris Paluska and John Brooks.
As all this was going on, the audience was being evacuated from the building and the local Police informed. Officer James Niggemeyer was called to the scene. He then Bravely entered the club from the rear and then as he reached the side of the stage let a well aimed round from his 12 gauge shot gun rip into the killers head, instantly killing him. At the time of this shot, the killer had a hostage under his arm and was seen to be reloading his pistol. Eye witnesses state he reloaded atleast 3 times, indicating the use of atleast 21 rounds.
Eye witness reports say that as Gale entered the stage for the first time, he ran on shouting, in an abusive manner, that Dimebag was responsible for the break-up of Pantera.
Other eye witnesses say that almost instantly Dimebags brother Vinnie was pulled down from his drum kit by security, and he and the bass player were taken away from the stage. The singer of the band, Patrick Lachman was then heard shouting down the mic “This is no joke, call 911, call f*****g 911!!” to the audience who innitially beleived it was all part of the show. Another member of the Audience said that before the show Gale was seen wondering around alone, looking Suspicious, he then disappeared, only to be seen later climbing over a fence to the rear of the Villa which gave him access to the backstage area.
No motive has ever been found as to why Gale did this. Some say it was as direct response to an interview made just 2 weeks before with ex-pantera lead singer Phil Anselmo who said, “Dimebag needs to be severly beaten”. The 9mm pistol used in the shootings was a present from Gales mum, who had given it to him to show how proud she was of his enlistment into the Marines. Police also found a years worth of Gales medication in his flat, suggesting he was extremely ill mentally at the time of the attack.
There you go, I’ve named the pictures so that they speak for themselves. Dimebag was the fucking man, a guitar genius.