Newly released body camera footage shows police officers evacuating people just before and after a bomb detonated in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas morning in a chilling scene that officers likened to something “out of a movie.”
“If you hear this message, evacuate now. Stay clear of this vehicle,” an audio message can be heard blaring from a parked recreational vehicle in the video released by the Metro Nashville Police Department on Monday. The RV was rigged with explosives.
Officer Michael Sipos was walking past the vehicle along Second Avenue North when his body camera, which he had been issued only days earlier, captured the eerie warning, the department said.
“That’s like some shit out of a movie,” Sipos tells an officer walking with him.
“Like ‘The Purge,’” the other officer responds, referencing the dystopian film series.
Less than a minute after Sipos turns a corner off the street, there’s a loud explosion, followed by the sound of broken glass and a car alarm going off. The officer then dons what appears to be a ballistic vest from the trunk of his vehicle before hurrying back toward the scene.
At the intersection, the street is seen littered with broken glass and larger debris. There’s a fire burning where the RV was parked. A panicked man, carrying a child over his shoulder as he hustles down the street, is given evacuation instructions by an officer.
Sipos was one of six officers praised by the department late Friday for their heroism and bravery in going door to door to evacuate residents in the moments before the explosion tore through the area, knocking some of the officers off their feet.
“I’ll never forget the windows shattering after the blast all around me,” Officer Amanda Topping, one of those six, recalled at a press conference Sunday. “It kind of looked like a big prop from a movie scene, all the glass breaking at once.”
Three people were injured from the blast while Anthony Quinn Warner, the man later identified as having detonated the bomb from the inside of the vehicle, was killed. The motive for the attack was unknown as of Tuesday.