NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thanks to the actions of six officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department, the Christmas morning bombing in downtown Nashville injured only a handful of people, none critically.
Breanna Hosey arrived second to the scene, believing, like Officer Tyler Luellen, that they were shots fired in a building on Second Avenue. But as soon as they arrived, the announcements began to ring out from the RV.
There was a large bomb in the area, and people needed to evacuate now.
"We both had this confused look, like is this really what we're hearing right now," Hosey said during a Sunday morning press conference.
"We were trying to think of the best way of action," Hosey said. Officer Hosey, along with Officer Michael Sipos, began knocking on doors as they waited for other officers to arrive. As Sergeant Timothy Miller arrived, he suggested Hosey and others move their patrol cars back.
"I'm giving him credit for that," Hosey said, "for probably not only saving our lives but our patrol vehicles."
"We go back in and start clearing floor-by-floor on the Second Avenue North apartments," Hosey said. "Once we made contact with everyone we could and made sure they were getting out of the building, we started to move down." There the officers, including Hosey, began trying to get entry into every building they could, including several Airbnb's.
Then the countdown began. 14 minutes until detonation.
"Once we made it to Second and Commerce, we realized there wasn't much else we could do once we evacuated and made contact with everyone that we could, so I told everyone it's probably best to go back to our vehicles and regroup until the bomb squad gets out there. At that point, we heard 3 minutes until detonation."
Officer Hosey and two other officers began heading back north on Second Avenue. She had made a turn onto Church Street when the bomb exploded.
"I was thrown forward, knocked to the ground, but I was able to catch myself, I was fine," Hosey said.
"I made a call to a loved one to let them know I was OK, then I went into the intersection to check on Miller and Luellen to make sure they were OK," Hosey said. "Saw Sipos running towards the intersection as well," Hosey added, as her voice began to crack. "I got on the radio to make sure Wells was OK. Couldn't get a response from him, but from the blast he had some hearing loss, so that's when Amanda got on and said he was OK. So I was just trying to make sure all our people were OK."
"They didn't think about their own lives," MNPD police chief John Drake said of the six officers' actions on Christmas morning. "They thought about the citizens of Nashville and protecting them."
"They might not think they're heroes because they go about this job each and every day, but they are our heroes, and they had a really heroic effort that morning."