DAMAGEPLAN Concert Shooting Update: Three Of The Victims Identified

December 9, 2004

Columbus police department spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio identified three of the victims of Wednesday's (Dec. 8) shooting at a Columbus nightclub as "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, guitarist with the heavy metal rock band DAMAGEPLAN, and two other men, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk (both of them said to be audience members),according to the Associated Press.

DAMAGEPLAN had just begun their first song at the Alrosa Villa when the man opened fire, first targeting Abbott, shooting him multiple times at point-blank range, a witness said.

The witness, 22-year-old Chris Couch, said he was standing about 30 feet away from the stage when he noticed a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and hockey jersey walk up to the stage, followed by a bouncer and another club employee.

The man in the jersey climbed onto the stage, started yelling and shot the guitarist five or six times at close range, Couch said. He said the gunman also shot a bouncer who pulled him off the musician.

Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull said that after shooting at members of the band, the gunman fired into the crowd.

Columbus police were flooded with 911 calls from concertgoers right after the shooting. Some witnesses said the alleged gunman took someone hostage. Minutes later, a Columbus police officer entered the nightclub and shot and killed the man.

"If the officer wasn't as close as he was, I think this would have been a lot worse," he said. "It was a chaotic scene, just a horrific scene."

Mull said more people could have been shot and left the scene before authorities arrived.

After the shooting began, Couch and a friend headed for the exit along with a tide of hundreds of fans.

"It was definitely a grudge. It was against something," Couch said.

Amanda Stankus, 19, who attended the show with Couch, said she initially thought the shooting was part of the show. "I just saw the guitarist fall down, and we decided to get out of there," she said.

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email