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"You have no idea who I am or what I'm capable of. When I'm finished here and I promised it'd be soon, I will focus all my attention on you!"
―Thomas Gabriel to John McClane [src]

Thomas Gabriel was a crazed former DOD (Department of Defense) agent-turned-traitor and cyber terrorist leader. He is the main antagonist in Live Free or Die Hard.


Thomas has both brown hair and eyes.

Early Life[]

Gabriel was a former chief programmer for America's infrastructure security in the DOD. During his tenure with the DOD, he designed a program that runs a top-secret NSA facility called Woodlawn, which is used as back-up servers for critical personal and financial record in case of a total systematic attacks. Gabriel broke into the meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He hacked and shut down NORAD with a laptop to prove America is vulnerable for a cyber-attack. Pointing a gun at his head the Joint Chiefs forced him to stop the hack. When he tried to go public, the government publically humiliated him and dismissed him. Deputy Director Miguel Bowman refers to him as not being "people friendly." He was also apparently aware of Fredrick Kaludis aka Warlock.

Live Free or Die Hard[]

Fire Sale[]

With the help of Mai Linh and a network of hackers led by Trey, Gabriel prepared a fire sale to wreck America's economy and steal billions of dollars using the Woodlawn facility. Using hackers from all over the country, including Matt Farrell, he creates different parts of the fire sale and sends men led by Rand to assassinate the hackers, but fails in eliminating Farrell when Detective John McClane interferes. He sends Rand in a helicopter to chase down McClane and Farrell.

In the next morning, a day before the Fourth of July, Gabriel starts his fire sale and sends a message made up of clips from various presidents across the country to create fear. He and the others travels around Washington D.C. in a trailer pulled by an eighteen wheeler to keep from being located. After Mai locates McClane, Gabriel talks to him and tries to get him to give up or kill Farrell and erases his 401K to try to get him to do it. McClane refuses and Gabriel sends Rand after him and after he's chased into a tunnel, sends all the traffic right at him when Trey hesitates. After receiving word that McClane destroyed the helicopter and only Rand survived and that McClane and Farrell apparently didn't, he recalls Rand and got news from Casper that Emerson and his men arrived in Woodlawn. After a moment, the download of Woodlawn has started. As soon as Mai prepared herself and the two men with her to go to Eastern Power Hub, Gabriel and Mai shared a kiss before she went to the chopper.

Kidnapping Lucy and Farrell[]

When the Eastern Hub starts to go back on-line and a e-bomb is hitting their own systems, Gabriel contacts Mai through video conferencing, demands to know what's going on and is shocked to find McClane answering him. McClane reveals that Mai is dead and tells him to either pack up and leave or he'll come after him. Gabriel angrily says to McClane that he has no idea who he is and what he is capable of. He announces when he is finished with his fire sale, he will focus all his attention on McClane. In retaliation Gabriel has Trey re-route every front of natural gas lines to the station, in order to blow up the Hub in an attempt to kill McClane and Farrell, but fails. Gabriel travels to Woodlawn on his getaway truck to get the financial data and is furious when Warlock hacks into his network to find him. Gabriel contacts Warlock and is surprised to see McClane alive. As Warlock and Farrell try to track him, Gabriel contacts Lucy McClane and sends one of his men, Russo to kidnap her as a hostage. Warlock manages to track his location and McClane and Farrell go after him while Gabriel takes Lucy hostage. Gabriel also has all of his hackers except Trey killed as he no longer needs them.

When Farrell sets off the alarm, he sends Russo after McClane and is shocked when McClane defeats and apparently kills him. Gabriel tries to reason with McClane, trying to convince him what he's doing is right and when he fails, tries to get Lucy to do it and is angry when Lucy merely tells McClane that there are five bad guys left and he slaps her and sends Rand after McClane. After Farrell is captured by Emerson after encrypting the data, Gabriel decides to leave and takes off in a Hazmat truck with his trailer following him. There he tries to force Farrell to decrypt the data, but when McClane kills Robinson and takes over the eighteen wheeler, Gabriel had to stop forcing Farrell to decrypt the data. He later tricks the pilot of an F-35 Lightning into attacking him and believes him killed.


"On your tombstone, It should read "Always in the wrong place at the wrong time!""
―Thomas Gabriel [src]
"How about "Yippee Ki Yay Motherfucker!!!""
―John McClane as he grab Gabriel's pistol and fires it through his shoulder to kill him [src]

Gabriel and his men travel to a warehouse near the highway, unknown to them tracked by McClane who survived. Gabriel shoots Farrell in the knee and threatens Lucy's life to get him to decrypt the data and orders Trey to ready a plane that they have ready to escape in. However, McClane arrives and kills Trey and one of Gabriel's remaining men. Gabriel uses Lucy as a hostage to keep McClane from shooting him and McClane is shot in the right shoulder by Emerson.


Gabriel, after being killed by McClane.

Gabriel forces Farrell to keep working and as he goes after McClane, Lucy shoots Emerson in the foot and kicks his gun to McClane, but Gabriel stops it and grabs McClane and shoves his gun into McClane's wound to torture him and mocks him, but McClane grabs the gun and shoots himself through the shoulder, sending the bullet into Gabriel's heart and killed him. Of all the men in Gabriel's gang, Emerson is the last to die at Farrell's hand.


For Thomas Gabriel quotes, click here.


  • Director Len Wiseman credits actor Timothy Olyphant, who played Thomas Gabriel, with coming up with the idea of how Gabriel would be killed off. In order to keep it a secret, the scene was not included in the film's shooting script during filming.
  • Thomas is the only main antagonist to be killed at daytime and from a gunshot.


Die Hard Wiki has a collection of images related to Thomas Gabriel.

Behind the Scenes[]

Timothy Olyphant portrayed Thomas Gabriel in Live Free or Die Hard.


Die Hard Die Hard 2 Die Hard with a Vengeance Live Free or Die Hard A Good Day to Die Hard

Die Hard Characters
John McClane - Holly Gennero - Lucy McClane - John McClane, Jr. - Al Powell - Richard Thornburg
Die Hard Hans Gruber - Karl Vreski - Dwayne T. Robinson - Harry Ellis - Joe Takagi - Argyle - Ginny - Theo - Eddie - Heinrich - Alexander - Tony Vreski - Franco - Fritz - Marco - Uli - James - Kristoff - Harvey Johnson - Gail Wallens - Mitchell - Rivers - Special Agent Johnson - Agent Johnson
Die Hard 2 William Stuart - Ramon Esperanza - Major Grant - Carmine Lorenzo - Leslie Barnes - Ed Trudeau - Marvin - Samantha Coleman - Garber - Kahn - Oswald Cochrane - O'Reilly - Baker - Thompson - Burke - Miller - Sheldon - Shockley - Mulkey - Sherman - Albertson - Telford - Vito Lorenzo
Die Hard with a Vengeance Simon Gruber - Zeus Carver - Joe Lambert - Connie Kowalski - Walter Cobb - Ricky Walsh - Mathias Targo - Katya - Charles Weiss - Jane - Fred Schiller - Dexter - Raymond - Jerry Parks - Karl - Otto - Mischa - Nils - Klaus - Rolf
Live Free or Die Hard Matt Farrell - Thomas Gabriel - Mai Linh - Warlock - Miguel Bowman - Emerson - Trey - Russo - Rand - Del - Molina - Taylor - Raj
A Good Day to Die Hard Yuri Komarov - Irina Komarov - Viktor Chagarin - Alik - Mike Collins - Murphy