Country singer Wayne Mills was shot and killed in a bar altercation in Nashville early Saturday morning (Nov. 23).

WKRN-TV in Nashville reports that the shooting happened after Mills began smoking a cigarette in a non-smoking area at the Pit and Barrel, upsetting bar owner Chris Ferrell. The pair began arguing, and other patrons left the bar. Police were called to the scene after gunshots rang out, but it’s unclear if anyone witnessed the shooting. CNN reports that the two men were friends.

Mills was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the head. His fans learned of the shooting when his manager, JR Smith, posted the news to his Facebook page. Less than three hours later, he confirmed that Mills was dead.

Blake Shelton, Jamey Johnson and 'American Idol' winner Taylor Hicks are among the musicians Mills worked and toured with during his career. Friends took to social media to express their shock and condolences in the wake of the news.



According to police, Ferrell has a valid handgun permit. He claims the shooting was in self-defense. He had not been arrested as of Sunday night (Nov. 24). An investigation is ongoing. A petition at is requesting a formal apology to Mills’ family.

Mills leaves behind a wife, Carol, and six-year-old son, Jack. The Wayne Mills Family Fund for Carol and Jack has been set up at First Bank in Tennessee. A benefit event is in the planning stages.

The Wayne Mills Band Facebook page says Mills' funeral will take place after Thanksgiving.

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