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Author Topic: Officer Talks About Nightclub Shootings ,  (Read 1476 times)
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« on: May 10, 2005, 03:19:23 pm »

The following report is courtesy of
Officer Talks About Deadly Nightclub Shootings That Killed "Dimebag" Darrell  

A Columbus police officer talked publicly for the first time about a deadly shooting at a local nightclub to NBC 4. Officer James Niggemeyer was the first officer to arrive at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in December after a gunman killed four people and took another hostage at a heavy metal concert. With no backup, Niggemeyer did what he felt was necessary to save lives. He fired one shot and killed Nathan Gale, who was on stage and still had the hostage locked in his arms.

"You just hope you never are involved in something like this," Niggemeyer said of the incident.

Killed in the shooting were: DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, 38; Nathan Bray, 23, of Grove City; Erin Halk, 29, of Columbus; Jeff Thompson, 40, of Texas; and Gale, 25.

Niggemeyer said he didn't know much about what was going on when he entered the nightclub.

"We just knew what we were being told on the radio," he said. "You always hope you can get there quicker, save more lives."

Many praised Niggemeyer for his actions. While the nightclub has reopened after renovations and bands once again take the stage, the officer said a day doesn't go when he doesn't think of that deadly December night.

"I remember the names of all five of the victims that night," Niggemeyer said. "I remember the date. I remember everything really well, and I'm sure I'll never forget it."

Niggemeyer said he has received e-mails from around the world since the incident.

"A lot of the e-mails were saying, you know, they were heavy metal rockers, and they never got along with police in the past," Niggemeyer said. "And this really changed their view on how police are now where they live and how they treat police now. And I think that's great."

When asked if he would do it again, he said, "Absolutely, if I had to."

Niggemeyer and a Thornville firefighter are two of eight finalists for a bravery award provided by "America's Most Wanted." They were chosen from thousands of nominations from across the nation.

Robert Sands

Lt. Robert Sands, who is a construction worker by day and a volunteer firefighter on the side, saved a 2-year-old boy who was trapped inside a burning house.

"I went down the hallway just by feel because you couldn't see anything," Sands said. "I could hear him moan, and I was screaming for him at one point."

When Sands reached the boy, it was mission accomplished.

"I responded as a firefighter, but I reacted as a father," Sands said. "I know that if it was my kid, I'd want someone to do the same thing."

People can vote to determine the winner on the America's Most Wanted website (here).

The winner will be announced May 28.

"Nobody wants to really glorify what we have to do, but it's nice that somebody recognizes positive aspects of law enforcement and firefighting," Niggemeyer said.

posted by heavymetal gladitor, from brave may 10th 05

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