Slain Bodyguard Laid To Rest in Newport - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Newport -- Shannon Johnson Reports

Slain Bodyguard Laid To Rest in Newport

December 16, 2004 – Posted at 6:15 p.m. CST

NEWPORT – Jeffery Thompson was a native of Newport, Arkansas and was laid to rest on Thursday. He was working on a concert tour with "Dimebag" Darrell and Vinny Abbott from the heavy metal group Damageplan. Thompson and Darrell Abbott were among those killed recently when a gunman stormed the stage and opened fire at a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio.

Thompson, also known as “Mayhem” is described by his friends as ‘so many things to so many people.’

“In the 14 years that I knew him I can’t think of a single person who didn't like him or fall in love with him,” said friend Paul David Derr.

Described as a renaissance man, Thompson performed in renaissance festivals, commercials, and even the TV show 'Walker: Texas Ranger.'

His brother Micah Thompson said, “He would do anything for you and eventually he did.”

“In rock and roll, he was part of what stood between a total tragedy and showing everyone that there is good on that stage no matter what you think of the noise that’s coming from those speakers. Those are people up there,” said Thompson, who remembers his brother as an avid bagpipe player who liked to ride motorcycles.

People who knew him best say he didn't just take the bullet in the security role. “He would literally do it for any friend of his,” said Thompson.

Friend Hilton Jackson said, “He was that combination that can both intimidate a strong man and never scare away a child from coming up to hug as high as they can upon his leg.”

“He was very conscious of the fact that everything is temporary and nothing is predictable and that's why he lived it on the edge because he felt like he had to go full speed everyday, because you never know if you were going to get another one,” said Derr.

“It was the only way he knew how to live and we're proud to be a part of the life that he did live,” said Thompson.

Four people, including the gunman, were killed in the nightclub shooting.

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