Officer Who Took Out Dime's Killer Recieves Honor
Band Photo: Damageplan (?)
NBC 4 is reporting that Columbus Police Officer James D. Niggemeyer, who is widely credited for saving lives on Dec. 8, 2004 when he entered Alrosa Villa without backup and killed a crazed gunman responsible for blowing away four people, including PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, is receiving a national honor.
Niggemeyer received honorable mention in Parade magazine's 2005 Police Service Awards. His story will appear in Sunday's edition.
Niggemeyer responded to the DAMAGEPLAN concert at Alrosa Villa. Nathan Gale shot and killed four people and injured three others before Niggemeyer entered the building and killed him with one shotgun blast to the head.
"I could see he was holding a hostage around the neck and still had a gun, so I knew that I didn't want that hostage to be killed," Niggemeyer said.
"When he put the gun to the hostage's head, it became a now-or-never scenario," Niggemeyer said. "Do I let him shoot the hostage in front of everybody? Or do I take what I feel is the best shot to try to keep the hostage from being killed? ... It worked out for the best."
Niggemeyer said that while he was the first and only officer to enter the back of the club, he didn't act alone.
"That's where I have to thank all the other officers that came in the front, because I'm pretty sure that they kept his attention and allowed me to get as close as I did," he said. "And if it wasn't for those officers coming in the front, I don't know if he would've ever picked me off or not."
Niggemeyer said his mission was to save lives.
"If I had to do it again, I had to do it," Niggemeyer said. "I took an oath to protect the public."
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