Six Nashville police officers who rescued victims from Christmas Day bombing reflect one year later

6 metro officers bombing
Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 08, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Progress is hard to measure down on Second Avenue. The buildings that took a direct hit are still frozen in time. The garland from last Christmas Day has come back into season. "Well we have a lot of work to be done," said Ron Gobbell, project manager of the Second Avenue Recovery.

Read more: Six officers. Six heroes. Listen to their stories

Yet, further down the block, a few buildings are just a touch up away from opening back up for business. "Having places like that to go is going to be huge," said Gobbell.

But it's not just this street that has undergone tremendous change. So have the six Metro police officers who risked their lives to protect it. "I’m just grateful that we’re here," said Officer Tyler Luellen.

"I’m at Madison Precinct now," said Officer Amanda Topping.

"Recently I got promoted to field training officer," said Luellen.

Amanda Topping, Breanna Hosey, James Wells, Tyler Luellen, Michael Sipos and an absent Timothy Miller make up the Nashville Six. They admit they're still getting used to their new found fame. "They joke around and give us heck about it," said Officer Sipos.

But it's recognition that's well deserved, for running into the danger the morning of the bombing. "Even just thinking about it, that’s the response I get," said Hosey, as she fought back tears. "I still can’t really go up there. I haven’t gotten that closure yet but I’m hoping when everything’s finished it won’t be so hard for me."

James Wells says it's become a lifelong reminder that conditions can change in an instant. "You just never know when it’s going to be your day to face something like that," he said.

Topping said her solace lies in the promise of what comes next for Second Avenue. "Seeing what we’re planning for the future is really exciting because I live here, I have family here," she said.

How long that progress will take, no one can say for sure. But for those who love this block, like Toppings, it's time well spent. "To come from where we were last year and what happened but turning it into something positive is really great," said Toppings.

Read more: Second Ave. recovery project includes plans for historic facade, outdoor dining and restored tree canopy