PHOTOS: 2004 Alrosa Villa shooting

Nearly 12 years ago, a horrifying scene played out in Columbus: a crazed gunman opened fire during a heavy metal concert at Alrosa Villa nightclub on December 8, 2004. What followed would haunt those who survived and those who lost loved ones.

4 people were killed, including legendary guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott.

Survivors recall terrifying moments that unfolded during Alrosa Villa shooting

Some witnesses say the gunman, 25-year-old Nathan Gale of Marysville, was upset over the breakup of heavy metal group Pantera. But police never verified those reports and the true motive will likely never be known.

The terrifying moment still resonates among those who were there more than a decade later, including Jim Niggemeyer, the Columbus police officer who shot and killed Gale within seconds of entering the club.

WARNING: Images below contain photos of the crime scene taken by police the night of the shooting, as well as security footage from inside Alrosa Villa. Viewer discretion advised.

PHOTOS: 2004 Alrosa Villa shooting

Sign outside of Alrosa Villla - December 8, 2004

Damage Plan, "Dimebag" Darrell on stage at Alrosa Villa - December 8, 2004

Prior to the shooting, Gayle was seen by security guards several times. They asked him to move his car. He looked strange they say because he was pacing outside the club. Gale didn't have a ticket, so he scaled the back fence near the club’s main entrance

Damage Plan, "Dimebag" Darrell on stage at Alrosa Villa - December 8, 2004

Nathan Gale rushes on stage and fires his weapon at "Dimebag" Darrell

Nathan Gale rushes on stage and fires at "Dimebag" Darrell

911 call from the Alrosa Villa during the shooting on December 8, 2004

911 call from the Alrosa Villa during the shooting on December 8, 2004

911 call from the Alrosa Villa during the shooting on December 8, 2004

911 call from the Alrosa Villa during the shooting on December 8, 2004

Jim Niggemeyer enters the Alrosa, the Columbus police officer who shot and killed Gale

The quote said to Officer Niggemeyer before he fired at Gale.

A look at the concertgoer telling Officer Niggemeyer to stop Gale from firing.

The body of shooter Nathan Gale.

A look at the stage in Alrosa Villa following the shootings.

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

An identity card filled out by police for photos of 'Dimebag' Darrell at the scene.

Gun used by Nathan Gale in the deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa

Gun used by Nathan Gale in the deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa

Gun used by Nathan Gale in the deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa

Gun used by Nathan Gale in the deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

A view of the side of the club and exit.

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

The magazine from Gale's gun next to the band's equipment.

The shotgun slug Officer James Niggemeyer fired that hit Gale directly in the face and ended the killing spree.

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

The hat worn by Gale during the shootings.

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

Crime scene photo: deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa on December 8, 2004

The shotgun Officer James Niggemeyer fired that hit Gale directly in the face and ended the killing spree.

Slugs from the shotgun Officer James Niggemeyer fired that hit Gale directly in the face and ended the killing spree.

Police photos documenting blood stains on the clothes of concertgoers outside the Alrosa Villa

Police photos documenting blood stains on the clothes of concertgoers outside the Alrosa Villa

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Police photo: search of shooter Nathan Gale’s apartment in Marysville, Ohio

Inside his apartment police took photos of handwritten notes with the words: "We done this, I'm gonna live this, I sure I promis, Amohd, Ahmod."

Police photo of handwritten note inside Gale's apartment: "You'll see the sky fall. I'll make the pigs fly. Come on and give me some, Come on give me some. Do it and Die, Do it and Die"

Inside his apartment police took photos of handwritten notes with the words: "You'll see come alive. I'll take your life and make it mine. This is my life I'm gone. Git me."

The Man Who Put A Stop To The Killings

The gunmen, Nathan Gale, was shot and killed by Columbus Police Officer Jim Niggemeyer whose actions that night helped spare the lives of others who ran for exits as the shooting began.

10TV’s Kevin Landers spoke to Officer Niggemeyer about that terrifying night, how it has affected him, and the law that he hopes will pass to help first responders who suffer from emotional trauma on the job.

Around 10:20 p.m. on December 8, 2004, Niggemeyer entered through this backdoor at the Alrosa Villa on with shotgun in hand.

“He put the gun up to the hostage’s head and I just stopped where I was and shot him,” Niggemeyer explained.

On this night he pointed his shotgun at the head of Gale, who was holding a hostage, and ended his life.

Gale's shooting rampage would kill four people including the lead guitarist Darrel "Dimebag" Abbott of the heavy metal band Damageplan.

Niggemeyer said the trauma of that night has left emotional scars he hasn't been able to shake.

“You can have all the therapy you want but that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get better, and if you don't get better, who’s there to help you?” he said.

The shooting cost him his job, not because of what he did, but because he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Under Ohio law, anyone who suffers from brain trauma while on the job isn't covered by workers’ compensation. Niggemeyer wants the law to change.

“I think they need to do a lot better job with officers that don't have physical injuries, but mental injuries,” Niggemeyer said.

Twice, lawmakers have introduced bills to try to change the law but they were stopped. Businesses worry it would raise insurance rates, others argued that it wasn't fair that only first responders would get compensated while bank tellers, for example, would be excluded.

Niggemeyer said he was forced to retire because his PTSD prevented him from being a first responder. He now works in the city's fleet management division.

Twelve years after the shooting, that made him a hero for saving the lives of others, he said the emotional toll of taking a life has far from faded from his memory.

“I still see a psychologist 12 years later. I still take my medication, which helps out,” Niggemeyer said. “The question I ask … is it going go away?"