‘The only thing that saved me was my drums’: How Vinnie Paul Survived The Shooting Of December 8th, 2004

Henry Laurisch, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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During an interview with Ryan Roxie, Nitro guitarist Michael Angelo Batio shared how the late Vinnie Paul had told him some details about the infamous shooting that took place on December 8th, 2004. Per Batio, the late Pantera drummer shared that, “The only thing that saved me was my drums.”

Batio is referring to the incident where a crazed fan stormed the stage where Vinnie and his brother Dimebag Darrell were playing (as part of their band Damageplan), and said fan shot and killed Dimebag. Per Batio’s words, Paul told him how bullets were bouncing off his drum kit.

Below, as transcribed by Ultimate Guitar, you will find Batio talking about his conversation with the late Vinnie Paul.

“I know this is off topic thing, but I knew Vinnie Paul and his brother pretty well. And because of the Dean, you know, Vinnie was with DDRUM and that was a Dean [sister] company. We would go to Europe and we would congregate in these different music expos, you know, like in Frankfurt, Germany….

“And so it was me, Vinnie, David Vincent from Morbid Angel, who is our close friend, and we were sitting down, and we’re having a really nice dinner in Germany, and we we’re drinking beer, and Vinnie told me – I would never ask in a million years – Vinnie talked to me …about what happened on stage.

“He’s like, ‘Man, the only thing that saved me was my drums.’ He said the guy was pointing the gun, right at his face, and shooting, and it was ricocheting off the hardware of his drums. I mean, me and David… we didn’t say a word. No comment. But I can only imagine the feeling of that, you know, point blank range. To live through that ordeal, it was just something else.”

It is heartbreaking that Dimebag lost his life that night and Vinnie had to witness that. Vinnie Paul passed away on June 22th, 2018. May both brothers rest in peace.

Below you can find the fill interview featuring that of Nitro guitarist Michael Angelo Batio.