DECATUR, Ala. (WAAY) - Around 5 a.m. Saturday morning at the Pit and Barrel Bar in Nashville Tennessee, 44 year old Wayne Mills of the Wayne Mills Band was shot and killed by the bar owner, Chris Ferrell.
Witnesses say the two men got into an argument because Mills lit a cigarette in the bar, then Ferrell shot him in the back of his head. Ferrell is claiming self defense. Nashville police have not arrested or filed any charges against him.
J.R. Smith, Mills' best friend and manager, doesn't understand why he hasn't been arrested yet.
"I don't see any way to claim self defense," Smith said. "I’ve known Wayne for 20 plus years, and I’ve never ever seen him be violent to another person or be aggressive to another person or give anyone a reason to pull a gun on him and shoot him in the back of the head."
Police also misidentified Mills. He laid in a Vanderbilt Hospital bed for 10 hours before his family was notified. When they got there, it was too late. Smith said, "It's just wrong how stupid can be the police department be not to check his wallet for his ID."
Mills, an Arab native, played football at the University of Alabama before starting his music career. Mills has played at different venues across the valley.
Donnie Dotson, the owner of Herbs Music Hall in Decatur and friend of Mill,s said, "Wayne did our grand opening here and he’s put a large fraction of talent in here."
Dotson can’t understand how someone could do this to his friend he said, "You could tell by his handshake he was good people, and i just couldn't see why anybody would shoot somebody like that in the head."
Mills leaves behind his wife Carol and his young son. Dotson remembers Mills as a talented singer and family man.
"Wayne set her on a pedestal," he said. "So I can only imagine what she’s going through -- what their boy is going through."
Smith says family and friends are devastated about Mills' tragic death. He said, "We're not holding up well at all, and his family’s not. His wife and his son is not holding up very good either."
Family and friends are planning a benefit concert for the Mills family; they have also set up a fund as well. To get more information on helping the Mills family through this difficult time visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wayne-Mills-Band/75282723610