Country Singer Wayne Mills Shot From Behind, Bar Owner Claims Self-Defense

After coming from a George Jones Tribute concert on a Friday night in Nashville last year, ‘outlaw country’ music performer Wayne Mills headed over to the Pit & Barrel, a popular downtown Nashville music spot run by his friend Chris Ferrell, who shot him in the back of the head, and is claiming self-defense.

For over fifteen years, Mills, 44, had toured with his band and performed in the Nashville area as one of the hottest bands in the college circuit.

Wayne Mills
Wayne Mills (photo:

During Mills’ career, country music’s Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton, 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and country singer Jamey Johnson each opened for him as they were seeking stardom. Mills had just finished a tour with Johnson within his last couple of weeks.

At the Pit & Barrel in the early morning hours of November 23, Mills had posed with the bar owner Ferrell, also 44, and other folks for a photo. Less than an hour later, just before 5:00 a.m., Mills was shot in the back of the head by Ferrell, who is charged with second-degree murder. Mills died at a hospital over 12 hours later.

An autopsy report released at a discovery hearing last week confirmed the gunshot wound as well as scrapes, bruises, and broken ribs.

Chris Ferrell
Chris Ferrell (police mug shot)

Ferrell, a sinister-looking character with a concealed-carry permit, claims he shot Mills in self-defense after an argument over Mills smoking in a no-smoking area of the club. His attorney claims he is not guilty. Ferrell is free on a $150,000 bond, and a status hearing is scheduled for February 6, but no trial date has been set.

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10 thoughts on “Country Singer Wayne Mills Shot From Behind, Bar Owner Claims Self-Defense

  1. I do not see a stand your ground defence here, and anyone that thinks that is not using their brain. Stand your ground is almost the same as Castle doctrine. Meaning you are not required to run and hide if someone is threatening you or you family with physical harm. Even running and hiding is not enough to protect you from the laws in California.

    No reasonable person can say that shooting someone in the back of the head is self defence, it is much like shooting someone in the back that is running away that is unarmed.

    There are plenty of laws on the books that allow people to get away with harming others and their families, and also allow people to get away with murder. I know because I’m in pain every day of my life, and as far as the laws in California are concerned nobody has harmed me because police are allowed to get away without writing reports when people tell them about crimes committed against them. All police in California are concerned with is getting convictions and money for the courts. This is even if you are white and the officer is white.

    Also I have a question for people here, if someone breaks into your home and is heading to the room where your child is sleeping with a knife, would you shoot them first or call 9-1-1 and wait for the police to arrive. Stand your ground is suppose to mean that you are allowed to kill them to protect your child without having to worry about going to prison for protecting your family. I have worked with people that have friends that went to prison for protecting their family from the exact threat to their child previously mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is the sickest thing about it. When the surge of SUVs hit the US and many people rushed out and obtained one I remember a story that said it was “the survival of the fittest.” That made no sense to me then as Stand Your Ground does now. You want to grab hold of them and say, ‘But these are human beings!’

        I saw and heard about the popcorn guy… he feels no remorse. What does that say to others? What does it say to our children?

        I am speechless.


      2. The popcorn guy, Zimmerman, the guy who shot Renisha McBride, and so many others – they just seem to think that because of a law in their state’s books they shouldn’t feel any remorse for killing another human.


      3. Their values are seriously twisted. Every day that that law remains in effect is another day our government condones murder. That’s what it is, you know – murder.


      4. Some people should never be allowed to carry or even own guns as they are a threat to all, and them having a gun makes them an even bigger threat.

        Typically people that where certain parts of their anatomy are very small, and they get a gun to make up for it.


      5. What did not surprise me is that it was a retired officer that did the shooting. He probably did it out of anger, as in respect my authority or else.

        What I always do if I see someone in a theatre doing something that I find annoying in front is MOVE, and never say a word to them. Life is too short to go around being an ass towards others.

        Problem with most laws is they do not expire, but have to be repealed, and many are enacted as political favours to their big money contributors.

        Also there would never have been “Stand your Ground” laws in the first place if we did not have people that are morally corrupt in law enforcement that go after people for protecting their families.


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