NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One year ago, Nashville was forever shaken by the downtown Christmas Day bombing.
Jackie Perkins works on Second Avenue and is reminded of the destruction often.
“It was a travesty that it all happened. I know that it messed up a lot of people’s lives and caused a lot of trauma for a lot of people,” Perkins said.
Tina Emmons recalled visiting Nashville with her husband shortly after the explosion.
“We came down this way and walked down through here and everything was blocked off and you could see where some of the buildings exploded,” Emmons recalled.
In the early morning hours of December 25, 2020, Anthony Warner drove an RV down Second Avenue, warning people through an intercom system to evacuate. A short time later a bomb exploded, killing Warner.
One thing for certain, however, is that things could have looked much different had it not been for the brave men and women known as the “Nashville 6.” They were the select few who ran into the horror instead of away.
“It was kind of like, I call it autopilot, where we know that we have a job to do and we have to get it done,” Officer Brenna Hosey said.
Trying to stay calm was crucial, but not an easy task.
“There’s that part of me that didn’t want it to be real. Like we hear this voice saying there is a bomb that’s going to go off, but I’m trying to tell myself someone’s playing a really bad prank,” Hosey said.
Officer-worn body camera footage is still too much for her to watch. When she does, she’s taken back to the time when the lives of her fellow officers were all she could think about.
“I’m the one on the radio screaming for James because I didn’t know if he was alive. And that 10 second period of not knowing that is still really hard. And that’s the emotional response I’ll probably always have,” Hosey said.
But the actions of Officer Hosey, along with her five fellow officers that day, would be credited for saving countless lives by evacuating Second Avenue.
“It was just absolutely amazing that with all of that devastation no one was injured thanks to their quick response and them really jumping in and doing whatever they needed to do to get the area cleared and all of that. It was just amazing,” Emmons said.
Hosey is counting her blessings on the one-year anniversary of the bombing and throughout the holiday season.
“Being thankful we were all safe (and finally hearing from Amanda and James and knowing they were safe. I think that was probably the biggest gift that we could have been given after that happened,” Hosey said.