Shooter climbs onstage, shoots Damageplan guitarist and three others
Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell (born Darrell Abbott) was shot dead at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, last night. Soon after the band began playing, a gunman charged the stage and began firing at the band and into the crowd. Three others were killed before a police officer fatally shot the gunman. Abbott, 38, was formerly a member of Texas thrash metal giants Pantera.
The shooter -- identified as Nathan Gale, 25, of Marysville, Ohio -- dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and hockey jersey, jumped onstage at about 10 p.m., just as Damageplan were beginning their first song. After making a statement about the breakup of Pantera, he shot Abbott in the chest several times at close range and then turned his gun on the crowd of hundreds. Among those killed were fan Nathan Bray, 23, and Erin Halk, 29, who was either a fan or band employee -- the third victim and two wounded have not yet been named.
District patrol officer James D. Niggemeyer, 31, responded within minutes to the call about shooting inside the club, entering through the back door to investigate. The officer then fatally shot the gunman, who at the time was holding an unidentified hostage by the neck.
Approximately 250 audience members are being questioned by police about the incident.
Formed in early 2003 soon after the breakup of Pantera, Damageplan also includes singer Patrick Lachman, bassist Bob Zilla and Abbott's brother, ex-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. Their debut album, New Found Power, was released last February.