Dimebag Darrell Abbott Dead in Damageplan Shootout
At least five people died and two others were wounded after a shooting at a Columbus nightclub on Wednesday night, television station WCMH reported.The shooting took place shortly after 10 p.m. at Alrosa Villa, located at 5055 Sinclair Rd. Two members of the heavy metal band Damageplan were reportedly shot and killed, including Dimebag Darrell, formerly with the band Pantera, the station reported. The other band member’s name was not released. The alleged gunman also died at the scene, according to police.
Shortly after the band began playing its first song, a man apparently ran onto the stage and began shooting, according to a witness who identified himself as Sean. At first, some members of the audience may have thought the man running onto the stage with a gun was part of the band’s act, WCMH reported. Witnesses said that several shots were fired at the band. A bouncer at the club tackled the alleged gunman before that person was shot and killed, according to witnesses. It was unclear who shot the alleged gunman.
Damageplan featured former Pantera artists Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul. The pair were joined by vocalist Patrick Lachman and bassist Bobzilla, according to their Web site.
I’ve never heard of Damageplan, although I vaguely remember Pantera. The Damageplan Official Fan Website and the Official Damageplan Website are both being overwhelmed, although I was able to find the above picture of the unfortunate Mr. Dimebag.
Update: As I suspected, Michele Catalano was an afficionado of Pantera and has more on the story.
Dimebag, formerly known as Diamond (back in the Pantera glam days), whose real name was Darrell Abbott, was the brother of Damageplan/Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul and the son of country singer Jerry Abbott.
It’s a bizarre kind of story. Not only did the gunman intentionally single out and kill Darrell, but he shot blindly into the audience, killing three people. The gunman himself was killed, so we’ll probably never know what made this guy freak out.
According to the Damageplan message boards, a bassist from the opening band tried to shield Darrell and was shot. Also, they are reporting that another member of Damageplan, Pat Lachman, has died and one of the other victims was a security guard.
Bizarre and tragic.
Update (12-11): Concert Killer Described as Obsessed
The man who fatally shot former Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and three other men at a nightclub was obsessed with the heavy-metal band and made bizarre accusations against the group, a one-time friend said.
Nathan Gale apparently believed Pantera musicians were trying to steal his identity and the lyrics to songs he had written, former friend Jeramie Brey told the Columbus Dispatch in Friday’s editions.
Gale, 25, charged the stage Wednesday at a show by Abbott’s new band, Damageplan, and gunned down four people, including Abbott, before a police officer shot Gale to death. Two others were wounded.
Investigators said they may never know Gale’s motive. Some witnesses said he yelled accusations that Abbott broke up Pantera, but police had not verified those reports.
Brey and former friend Dave Johnson said they had become frightened by Gale’s behavior and distanced themselves several years ago. By that time, Johnson said, Gale had begun talking and laughing to himself and once appeared to be holding an imaginary dog.
“He used to be Pantera’s number one fan and has liked them for as long as I’ve known him,” Johnson told the newspaper. “After a while something happened. He just kind of snapped. He went from being a cool guy to being a guy you didn’t want to be around.”
Brey recalled that Gale once showed up at his house with some songs he had written, but the words appeared to be copied from Pantera. Gale told Brey he planned to sue Pantera over the lyrics and for stealing his identity.
Gale had had minor run-ins with police but wasn’t considered a troublemaker, authorities said.
He served with the Marines in North Carolina until November 2003, when he was discharged after less than half of the typical four-year stint, said Gunnery Sgt. Kristine Scarber, a Marine spokeswoman. She declined to explain the discharge, citing privacy rules.
Gale’s mother, Mary Clark, did not return phone messages seeking comment.
The violence at the Alrosa Villa club came just after the opening chords by Damageplan, the band formed by Abbott and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, after they left Pantera. Gale jumped on the stage, grabbed Darrell Abbott and shot him at least five times in the head, witnesses and police said. In less than five minutes, Gale also killed Erin Halk, 29, a club employee who loaded band equipment; fan Nathan Bray, 23; and band bodyguard Jeff Thompson, 40.