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HomeBreaking NewsNashville Police Heroes: Six Officers' Swift Actions Likely Saved Lives

Nashville Police Heroes: Six Officers’ Swift Actions Likely Saved Lives


“Incredible heroes who ran to danger.” -Nashville Mayor John Cooper

There was a time when police officers were widely recognized for running toward danger while others run away. This past year, that narrative has been turned upside down by a small vocal few as police have been under unprecedented attack, painted with a broad brush. However, a Christmas Day explosion in Nashville is a reminder of the heroism of police officers, and the risks they face on the job.

These are the six Nashville police officers who worked to evacuate persons and saved lives:

  • Officer Brenna Hosey, who has been with the department for 4 years;
  • Officer James Luellen, who has been with the department for 3 years;
  • Officer Michael Sipos, who has been with the department for 16-months;
  • Officer Amanda Topping, who has been with the department for 21 months;
  • Officer James Wells, who has been with the department for 21-months; and
  • Sergeant Timothy Miller, who has been with the department for 11 years.

Here’s what happened: Someone parked an RV downtown in an area with residential and commercial units, across from an AT&T building, on Christmas morning. Police received a shots fired call, although it’s not clear whether shots were fired. Officers rushed to the scene only to encounter a mystery RV broadcasting a recorded message warning people to evacuate the area. The RV also was broadcasting a recorded countdown. Although officers had no way of knowing when the RV might explode, they leapt to action, evacuating residents, and likely saving lives, according to the mayor and police chief.

The RV did in fact explode, damaging at least 41 buildings and giving three people minor injuries, including one police officer who suffered what is hoped to be only temporary hearing damage after being knocked off his feet.

The motive is not clear. The suspect identity is not yet known, and it’s not clear whether the suspect perished in the blast, although authorities said in a news conference that they found tissue at the scene.

What is clear is that the Nashville bomb is another reminder of the difficult jobs police officers perform with heroism in many instances.

The Mayor Called the Officers ‘Incredible Heroes’

In an evening news conference, Nashville Mayor John Cooper praised six uniformed police officers. Cooper called the officers “incredible heroes who ran to danger.”

He said the officers who were injured are recovering and praised them for taking “swift action,” saying they “directed people away from danger…they are heroes, and I am grateful to them and all of Nashville’s first responders.”

The police chief, John Drake, said officers “had no idea what they were responding to” because at first they received a shots fired call and then they found the RV playing music and a recorded message warning people to evacuate. Police said the recording contained a countdown of 15 minutes.

Officers “immediately began knocking on doors and evacuating residents,” even though they didn’t know for sure when the bomb would go off. “They cared about the citizens of Nashville.”

“The officers saved lives today, and their heroism should be noted,” said the police chief.

Jim Piwowarczyk
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now.

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