MNPD Hero Michael Sipos: 'I just wanted to make sure that all the other officers I knew were in the area were safe'

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-27 13:57:55-05

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.

Like other officers, Michael Sipos didn't think anything of the RV parked there when he arrived. "Didn't know at the time, but I was almost directly across from the RV," Sipos said.

After moving up the street, Sipos joined Officers Tyler Luellen and Brenna Hosey and began making plans to enter buildings on Second Avenue North in Nashville to try and evacuate anyone living there. They started knocking on doors, letting families know what was going on and get them out of the building.

"Between myself and all the other officers, I think we made contact with six or seven families," Sipos said. "At that point, Officer Luellen who was outside, let us know that the recording had changed. I believe that's when a song started playing."

That song was "Downtown" by Petula Clark. "When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown," the song begins. Not that Sipos or the other officers had much time to listen to it. After the song began a countdown -- 14 minutes to detonation.

Sipos and the other officers continues to make their way through buildings, trying to help families to safety. "I know by the time we made it back outside, the last building we had checked, it was down to 3 or 4 minutes, I believe," Sipos said.

"We decided to get our heavy plates on and prepare for whatever might come after the countdown, and that point I made it back to church street and rounded the corner to First Avenue where my car was parked. I actually popped my trunk to get a piece of equipment out, and i felt a push and was thrown into the trunk a little bit and turned around to see a very orange sky and a lot of smoke."

"I ran back towards Second Ave. North as all the other officers did. I just wanted to make sure that all the other officers I knew were in the area were safe," Sipos said.

"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."