The Beacon Journal is reporting that the police officer who ended a fatal nightclub shooting spree by killing the man that murdered PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury.
The panel's decision not to indict Officer James Niggemeyer was expected, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Friday (May 20).
"There was little doubt (the shooting) was lawful, given the 200 eyewitnesses and the circumstances that surrounded the shooting. Nevertheless, we still have an independent body review the facts," O'Brien said.
With no backup, Niggemeyer entered the Alrosa Villa nightclub on Dec. 8 and fired a single shotgun blast that killed Nathan Gale, who had shot and killed four people during a concert by the band DAMAGEPLAN.
One of those killed by Gale was DAMAGEPLAN guitarist Abbott. Gale, 25, was still shooting and had taken a hostage when the officer came in.
Gale had told his mother and a former employer that he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic before he was discharged from the Marines in October 2003, two years into a four-year stint. Military records do not mention mental illness as the reason for the discharge.
Gale was a fan of Abbott's former band PANTERA, nominated for a Grammy in 1994. DAMAGEPLAN formed after PANTERA broke up.
Niggemeyer, 31, was nominated for a bravery award sponsored by the television program "America's Most Wanted". The winner will be announced on the show May 28.