Knoxville friends remember Phil Wells

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville native Phil Wells was shot to death inside a Las Vegas bar over the weekend.

In a show of support for his friendship,those who knew him celebrated his life at The Edge nightclub.

Friend Matt Killingsworth said, "He always had a smile on his face. We went to him when we had problems, he wasn't a typical
bartender, but he actually cared."

Dozens came to celebrate the life of the man who left Knoxville for Las Vegas a year and a half ago to pursue a career in film.

That career was stopped short when police say Tracy Kauffman walked into a Vegas bar Sunday night and murdered Wells.

Police caught up with Kauffman at the airport. He's now charged with murder.

Danny West was a former boyfriend of Wells. "Everybody is so devastated that he's gone especially in this manner because we all loved him so very much," he said.

All of the money collected at the door, a silent auction and entertainment will all go to Wells' family to help with funeral arrangements and any bills accumulated. Friends say it's the least they can do.

Killingsworth will never forget his friend.

"His support within the community for many years was amazing and just being a close friend of Phil Wlls, that's why we decided to put this together and have it come to life tonight."

Wells will be buried in California, where his mother now lives.

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