He tragically died, but his memory still lives on.
Earlier in the day, Gale got into a heated exchange over tattoo equipment that he wanted to buy at a tattoo parlor that he frequented. An artist there told Gale that "you had to be an artist" to buy such equipment and that they "didn't sell that equipment," at which point Gale threw down his magazine and said "Bullshit, man!" Gale called the artist a liar and then left.
The incident occurred just after the band started their set. Gale had found his way into the building by jumping a 7 foot wooden patio fence (the outdoor smoking area) and running through an open side door entrance. Minutes into the bands set, Abbott's bodyguard left the stage at which moment Gale ran onto the stage from the wing and began shooting into Abbott's head firing off several rounds before being rushed by Thompson and Halk.
Gale then began shooting at other people nearby:
- Jeff "Mayhem" Thompson, the band's head of security was killed while engaging in hand-to-hand combat with Gale after chasing him onto the stage as he shot dimebag.
- Erin Halk, an Alrosa Villa employee attempted to charge Gale when he ran out of bullets. However Gale was able to reload faster than anticipated, and killed Halk.
- Nathan Bray, an audience member, attempted to perform CPR on Dimebag and Mayhem but was shot and killed by Gale.
- Damageplan's drum technician, John "Kat" Brooks, was shot several times (once in the right hand, his right leg, and his right side) while attempting to get the gun away from Gale and was taken hostage, but ultimately survived.
- Tour manager, Chris Paluska, was injured but also survived.
Damageplan's drum technician, was shot several times (once in the right hand, his right leg, and his right side) while attempting to get the gun away from Gale and was taken hostage, but ultimately survived. Tour manager, Chris Paluska, was injured but survived after several weeks in the hospital. Five police officers came in the front entrance led by officer Rick Crum, and moved toward the stage as Gale used Brooks as a human shield. 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. When Brooks moved his head into a position that opened a clear line-of-sight, Officer Niggemeyer killed Gale by shooting him in the face with a police-issued 12 gauge Remington 870 shotgun. Gale was found to have 35 rounds of ammunition remaining. Nurse and audience member Mindy Reece, 28, went to the aid of Abbott. She and another fan administered CPR until paramedics arrived, but were unable to revive him.
The gun Gale used, a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, had been given to him by his mother, because she was proud of his military service.
On VH1's Behind the Music special for Pantera and on a CNN broadcast, rare footage of Dimebag's death was shown. Viewer discretion is advised. RIP.