The Night 'Dimebag' Darrell Died: Remembering the Other Victims

Gary Gardiner/ZUMAPRESS
Damageplan fans gather at a makeshift memorial at the entrance of a Columbus concert hall where Damageplan heavy metal guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott was shot and killed during the band's first song Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2004. Four other people, including the shooter, were killed in the shooting. 

Several people tried to stop shooter Nathan Gale's deadly rampage the night "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was murdered. Three of them died:

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Jeff "Mayhem" Thompson, 40, was Damageplan's head of security. Thompson pursued Gale as he charged across the stage, pulling the shooter to the ground. Described by friends as "a gentle giant" (he was at least 6 feet, 8 inches and weighed 300-plus pounds), Thompson took two bullets while struggling with Gale. Eerily, Thompson had always expressed affection for band members and other friends by saying, "I'd take a bullet for you."

Erin "Stoney" Halk, 29, was an Alrosa Villa roadie/security staffer. Like Gale, Halk was a former Marine -- "the type of kid who always went out of his way to help people," his brother, Andy, told The Columbus Dispatch. Reports differ as to whether Halk tried to help Thompson take down Gale or charged Gale as he was reloading.

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Nathan Bray, 23, was a Dimebag fan who was thrilled that he would get to see his idol up close. Married with a 2-year-old son, Bray climbed onstage amid the chaos and tried giving Dimebag CPR. He also tried to resuscitate Thompson before Gale turned the gun on Bray and shot him in the chest.


This article first appeared in the Nov. 29 issue of Billboard.


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