Below are images from the scene of a mass shooting at the Alrosa Villa, 5055 Sinclair Road late Wednesday night December 8, 2004.
Four people were killed and seven wounded in the crossfire during one of the concerts. Concerts scheduled for the night included Damageplan (with 2 former members of Pantera) DimeBag and Vinne with special guest Position 6 and 12 Gauge.
Damageplan was an American heavy metal band from Dallas, Texas that formed in 2003. Following the demise of their previous group Pantera, brothers Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott wanted to start a new band. The pair recruited former Diesel Machine and Halford guitarist Pat Lachman on vocals, and later Bob Zilla on bass. Damageplan released its debut album New Found Power in the United States on February 10, 2004, which debuted at number 38 on the Billboard 200, selling 44,676 copies in its first week. While Damageplan was promoting the album at a concert on December 8, 2004 at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, a man named Nathan Gale climbed on stage and killed lead guitarist Darrell and three others, and wounding another seven, before being shot dead by police officer James Niggemeyer.
Although no motive was found, some witnesses claimed Gale blamed the brothers for Pantera’s breakup and believed that they had stolen his lyrics. The band’s manager confirmed there are unreleased Damageplan recordings, although they have not surfaced, and the band has not performed since the incident. Abbott and Zilla have joined the band Hellyeah, and Lachman joined The Mercy Clinic.
Darrell Abbott also known as Dimebag Darrell and Diamond Darrell, was an American musician and songwriter who was a co-founder of Pantera alongside his brother Vinnie Paul, and founder of Damageplan. He was considered to be one of the driving forces behind groove metal.
Abbott was shot and killed by a gunman while on stage during a performance with Damageplan on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. He ranked No. 92 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists and No. 1 in the UK magazine, Metal Hammer.
On December 8, 2004, 34 dates into the Devastation Across The Nation tour, Abbott was shot on-stage while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. A crowd of approximately 250 had watched four support acts (two local bands entitled Volume Dealer and 12 Gauge, and the tour support Shadows Fall and The Haunted), when moments into Damageplan’s set, 25-year-old former Marine Nathan Gale shot Abbott five times in the head with a 9 mm Beretta 92FS pistol. Some in attendance initially believed the shooting was part of the act, but as Gale continued shooting, the audience quickly came to the realization that the event was not staged. Firing a total of 15 shots, Gale killed three other people and wounded seven more.
Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, the band’s head of security, was killed tackling Gale, as was Alrosa Villa employee Erin Halk. Audience member Nathan Bray was killed while trying to perform CPR on Abbott and Thompson. It was rumored that one crowd member leapt in front of the gunman, saving the lives of several band members. Damageplan’s drum technician, John “Kat” Brooks, was shot three times as he attempted to disarm Gale, but was overpowered and taken hostage in a headlock hold. Tour manager Chris Paluska was also injured.
Responding within three minutes to a dispatch call made at 10:15pm, seven police officers entered through the front entrance and moved toward the stage. Officer James Niggemeyer came in through the back door, behind the stage. Gale only saw the officers in front of the stage; he did not see Niggemeyer, who was armed with a 12 gauge Remington 870 shotgun. Niggemeyer approached Gale from the opposite side of the stage past a group of security guards, and saw Gale lift his gun to Brooks’ head, and fired a single shot as Gale noticed him. Gale was struck in the face with eight of the nine buckshot pellets and killed instantly. Gale was found to have had 35 rounds of ammunition remaining.
Two fans administered CPR on Abbott until paramedics arrived, but were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Early speculation about motive suggested that Gale, who was a Pantera fan, might have turned to violence in response to the breakup of the band, or the public dispute between Abbott and Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, but these were later ruled out by investigators. In VH1‘s documentary, Behind the Music, Damageplan’s sound engineer Aaron Barnes stated that the whole time, after shooting Dimebag, Gale was looking for Vinnie, possibly planning to murder him too. Another conjecture was that Gale believed Abbott had stolen a song that he had written. About six months prior to the shooting, Gale got into an altercation at a Damageplan concert in Cincinnati where he damaged $5,000 worth of equipment while being removed from the stage by security.
Photographed with Canon 1D MkII cameras in RAW mode with L series lenses