A veteran country music singer was shot and killed early Saturday morning by a Nashville bar owner after the two got in a heated argument over smoking inside the establishment.

Details remain sketchy, but local authorities say Pit and Barrel owner Chris Ferrell took umbrage at singer Wayne Mills insistence on smoking inside his bar.

The bar was closed at the time, and friends of the two men — who are said to have been friendly themselves — left the bar as the altercation escalated.

Ferrell later told police he shot Mills, 44, in self-defense — a claim that is currently being investigated.

Mills, leader of the Wayne Mills Band, had toured the college circuit for years performing his special brand of "outlaw southern rock."

On the band's official website, Mills, a married father of one, describes himself as an "average country boy steeped in the Southern vernacular of God, guns and football."

Country music superstar Blake Shelton got his start opening for Wayne Mills, and tweeted his condolences upon hearing the news on Sunday.

In an odd twist to an already bizarre story, an episode of the TV show Bar Rescue that was filmed inside the Pit and Barrell was supposed to air just hours after the shooting took place.

The show features "nightclub expert" Jon Taffer helping struggling bar owners revive their businesses a la Kitchen Nightmares, and Ferrell was scheduled to appear on last night's show.

Spike TV pulled the episode from its 10 p.m. slot, but accidentally left the late-night re-airing in tact.

It has since apologized to its viewers, to Taffer, to his production team, and to "our advertisers."

[H/T: BroBible, screengrab via Wayne Mills Band, photo via Bar Rescue]