‘I want justice’: Mom pleads for answers nearly one month after son died at Nashville rooftop bar


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s been nearly one month since 22-year-old DJ Barrett died following a fight at a popular downtown bar with security staff.

There have been no arrests and no closure into the homicide investigation, leaving Barrett’s family pleading for answers.

“It’s really rough, rougher than anything I’ve ever dealt with in my life and I pray rougher than anything I’ll ever go through again,” Tammy Barrett began to cry. “They always say as a parent you never want to have to bury your own child and I pray that it never happened, but it has.”

As if losing her son wasn’t hard enough, not knowing what happened the night of August 16 on the rooftop of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row is excruciating for DJ’s friends and family.

“The zero answers only add to the heartbreak,” his mom said.

Metro police say Barrett was found unresponsive by first responders following a fight with security staff who reportedly held him down.

“I don’t know if he was held down for seven minutes, 10 minutes, two minutes, I don’t know. It’s all been heresay of everything I’ve heard so far, that he was held down, he was begging to get up and they wouldn’t let him up,” she explained.

Weeks have passed and friends and family held a celebration of life for DJ. His body is now cremated as the family prays for closure.

“I want justice for DJ. I want them, whoever did what they did to him to pay.”

DJ’s mother has hired an attorney and she is hoping together they can get some justice in her son’s case.

News 2 reached out to Riot Hospitality Group that represents the bar to inquire about surveillance video and the status of employment with the security guards. A representative with the company sent a statement saying, “Because this is an on-going investigation, we are going to refrain from commenting and refer any questions to Nashville Police Department. As company policy, we do not comment on personnel issues.”

Investigators with Metro police reviewed at least one cell phone video, but they told News 2 they are not releasing it. They are now waiting on the autopsy results for Barrett to determine the cause of death, which typically takes about eight to 12 weeks.

Barrett’s family has now obtained an attorney with hopes for justice.

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