Many people on Facebook seem to be remembering today as the day John Lennon died.
For me and those into rock and metal, we all know it as the date "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was murdered.
Who is "Dimebag" Darrell?
Well, he's probably most famous for being the guitarist for Pantera and a huge influence when it came to the world of rock and metal. After Pantera broke up, "Dimebag" and his brother Vinnie Paul continued to rock with their band Damageplan who had a stop in my hometown just months prior to his death.
On December 8, 2004, Abbott was shot onstage while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.Can you imagine being at a show and having something like this happen? And poor Vinnie - he was just feet away from his brother when he was murdered - can you imagine the horror?
The gunman was Nathan Gale, who shot Abbott six times, including four times in the head, killing him instantly. Gale then continued shooting, killing four 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 Dimebag and Mayhem. It was rumored that one crowd member leaped 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 D. Niggemeyer came in through the back door, behind the stage. Gale only saw the officers in front of the stage; he never saw 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, striking Gale in the face with eight of the nine buckshot pellets. Gale was found to have had 35 rounds of ammunition remaining.
From what I know, I believe this is the only time a musican has been murdered like this by a crazed fan onstage during a show. While there are theories as to why Gale went on his shooting spree, no one knows for sure why he did it.
Dimebag's death was a huge loss to the metal and rock world, as well as the music world as he was quite the guitarist and a huge influence. He was only 38.
I was in college at the time, however I remember I was at my ex's parents house that weekend, sleeping in his sister's room and falling asleep to the TV in there. The early morning news came on and I remember them reporting on this, as it had just happened hours prior.
RIP "Dimebag" Darrell - you won't be forgotten!