Home | News | Regional | Wayne Mills, country singer, kills by Nashville bar owner who then claims self-defense

Wayne Mills, country singer, kills by Nashville bar owner who then claims self-defense

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  • Wayne Mills, 44, was shot in the head at the Pit and Barrel bar at 5am on Saturday
  • Owner Chris Ferrell claimed he killed Mills in self defense and has not been arrested
  • Pit and Barrel was featured on SPIKE TV reality show 'Bar Rescue' in an episode set to air Sunday
  • Mills works with stars Blake Shelton, Jamey Johnson and Taylor Hicks before they were famous

By Michael Zennie

PUBLISHED: 22:29 EST, 24 November 2013 | UPDATED: 23:09 EST, 24 November 2013

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Dead: Wayne Mills, 44, was killed by the owner of a Nashville bar, who claims he acted in self-defense

Dead: Wayne Mills, 44, was killed by the owner of a Nashville bar, who claims he acted in self-defense

The owner of a Nashville bar featured in a reality TV show is claiming self-defense after he shot dead a veteran country music singer after a fight over the musician smoking in a non-smoking area.

Wayne Mills, 44, has long been a fixture of the Nashville country music scene - Blake Shelton, Jamey Johnson and American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks all opened for him before they became stars.  

The owner of the bar, Chris Ferrell, has not been arrested and Nashville police are currently investigating his claims that he was defending himself when he shot Mills in the head about 5am Saturday at Pit and Barrel.

On Sunday night, SPIKE TV was set to feature the bar on its show Bar Rescue, which brings in a professional restaurant consultant to give struggling pubs a make-over.

The network canceled the new episode and aired a re-run instead.

Ferrell told police that Mills became aggressive after a night of drinking.

Michael Scott, a friend of Mills, told WSMV-TV that Mills and friends had been drinking with his pals on Friday night after going to see a performance.

Ferrell shot Mills in the head after the two got into a fight when Mills wouldn't stop smoking in a non-smoking area of the bar, according to police.

Mills, a native of Arab, Alabama, toured with the Wayne Mills Band, which played college towns for more than 15 years.

The Pit and Barrel bar, where Mills was killed, had recently been featured on an episode of the SPIKE TV reality show 'Bar Rescue'

The Pit and Barrel bar, where Mills was killed, had recently been featured on an episode of the SPIKE TV reality show 'Bar Rescue'

Mills, who toured college towns for years, was a fixture in the Nashville country music scene. He was married with a young son

Mills, who toured college towns for years, was a fixture in the Nashville country music scene. He was married with a young son

Mills, who was married with a young son, graduated from the University of Alabama with an education degree, and also played football for the school, according to the band's website.

Mr Scott said he was shocked to hear the bar owner's claims that Mills had become dangerous.

Condolences poured into his Facebook page - including from Shelton.

'Extremely sad to hear about the death of my old friend Wayne Mills... Rest in peace brother,' he tweeted.

Country music star and reality TV judge Blake Shelton tweeted out his condolences to Mills' wife

Country music star and reality TV judge Blake Shelton tweeted out his condolences to Mills' wife

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