NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The August death of a man at a Nashville honky tonk has been officially ruled a homicide.
On August 16, Metro police were called to Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row bar for a report of a fight. When officers arrived, they found 22-year-old Dallas "DJ" Barrett unresponsive on the floor of the rooftop. Barrett was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Staff at the bar told detectives Barrett became unruly and was asked to leave, but he allegedly then began to fight with security staff. The bouncers pulled Barrett to the ground and held him on the floor, according to Metro police.
The medical examiner determined his cause of death to be asphyxiation.
In response to the findings by the medical examiner, Barrett's mother, Tammy Barrett released the following statement through her lawyer:
"Today, I received the news that my son, Dallas Jordan Barrett, was the victim of a brutal homicide. This murder was committed by employees of Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row on August 16, 2021. Though hardly surprising, this news is confirmation of that which I already knew. This day also marks the first step in my crusade to obtain justice for my son.
Although my son died at only 22 years of age, he did not live in vain. I intend that he shall not have died in vain.
I will pursue justice for my son through all legal channels at my disposal. I implore all of you who are committed to equal justice under the law to join me in my fight.
My son's blood cried out from the ground."
Officials from Whiskey Row also released a statement, saying in part that the business has been cooperating with Metro Police in its investigation.
"The most important thing for Whiskey Row Nashville is the safety of our customers and staff.
Immediately following the events of the evening of August 16, 2021, Whiskey Row Nashville initiated an internal investigation while fully
cooperating with Metropolitan Nashville Police Department in its investigation. Our investigation revealed that when security requested assistance from Metro Police, an employee of Whiskey Row Nashville immediately approached two officers standing outside Whiskey Row for assistance. The officers would not provide assistance and told the employee to call 911, which was done.
Nearly six minutes later, different Metro Officers entered the rooftop from the elevator.
Whiskey Row Nashville filed an official complaint with Metro Police.
Based upon the information available to us at the time and the footage captured by our internal security video system, security staff appeared to try and de-escalate the chain of events that transpired that evening until Metro Police could arrive."
View the security footage in the video player above.
"We have reviewed the Medical Examiner’s report and have requested assistance in understanding its content. Nothing is more important than the truth, and we will continue to work with the proper authorities as we have done from the start.
A life was lost, and others are suffering from emotional and physical scars. The Whiskey Row Nashville family hopes there will be healing for all involved."
Metro police said charges are pending and no one has been arrested as of Friday. Detectives are continuing to investigate his death. MNPD has also released a statement.
The death of Dallas Jordan Barrett remains an open investigation that has involved numerous interviews, review of video material, and other continuous work by the MNPD's Homicide Unit. The case file has not been shared with the bar; in fact the file in its totality is to be staffed with the District Attorney's Office in the near future.
The officer on Broadway who was first approached about an unspecified fight on the roof of the business himself radioed for an MNPD security team to respond while that officer maintained a traffic post required for public safety. The actions of the officers who responded to the bar, as well as the officer initially told of a fight, are well documented in detail in the case file.
The Office of Professional Accountability has no complaint from the bar.
NewsChannel 5 has since received email confirmation that Whiskey Row did file a complaint with Metro Police. Whiskey Row also sent proof that Metro Police acknowledged the complaint the following day via email.