|“||You'll see come alive. I'll take your life and make it mine. This is my life I'm gone. Git me.||„|
|~ A handwritten note found in Gale's apartment.|
Nathan Gale (September 11th, 1979 - December 8th, 2004) was the man who murdered heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrel Abott and several other fans at one of Damageplan's 2004 concerts.
The Shooting and Death
On April 5, 2004, eight months prior to the shooting, Gale ran onto the stage during a Damageplan performance at Bogart's nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was unarmed and was stopped by the venue's security before reaching the band members. Gale refused to leave the stage and toppled a lighting rig as the security guards removed him from the venue, causing $2,000 worth of damage. Damageplan vocalist Patrick Lachman joked about the incident later in the performance, and the band declined to press charges against Gale as they did not want to return to Cincinnati for court hearings.
On December 8th, 2004, Abbott was shot onstage while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. The gunman, Nathan Gale, shot Abbott three times in the head using a 9mm Beretta 92FS handgun;the third shot killed him instantly. Gale continued shooting, killing three others and wounding a further seven. Gale fired a total of fifteen shots, stopping to reload once and remaining silent throughout the shooting. 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 drum technician, John "Kat" Brooks, was shot three times as he attempted to get the gun away from Gale, but was overpowered and taken hostage in a headlock position. Tour manager Chris Paluska was also injured. Seven police officers came in the front entrance, led by Officer Rick Crum, 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 didn't see Officer Niggemeyer, who was armed with a 12 gauge Remington 870 shotgun. He approached Gale from the opposite side of the stage to avoid hitting the hostage and fired a single shot just as Gale looked towards Niggemeyer, striking Gale in the face with eight of the nine buckshot pellets, killing him instantly. Gale was found to have had 35 rounds of ammunition remaining. Nurse and audience member Mindy Reece, 28, went to the aid of Abbott, and she and another fan administered CPR until paramedics arrived, but were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Early theories of motive suggested that Gale might have turned to violence in response to the breakup of Pantera, or the public dispute between Abbott and Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, but these were later ruled out by investigators. Another theory was that Gale believed Abbott had stolen a song that he had written. According to the book A Vulgar Display Of Power, several of Gale's personal writings, given to the author by his mother, suggest that the gunman was not angry about Pantera's breakup or a belief that Pantera had "stolen songs"; instead, the documents suggest that Gale's paranoid schizophrenia caused delusions that the band could read his mind, and that they were "stealing" his thoughts and laughing at him.