A recreational vehicle exploded in Nashville today. Katie wrote about it earlier. It’s been determined that this explosion was intentional; a warning played warning bystanders of its detonation. President Trump has been briefed on this incident. Federal investigators are on the scene. The Nashville Police Department recently released security footage of the vehicle that exploded (via WaPo):
The recreational vehicle that exploded in downtown Nashville Christmas morning broadcast a message from a loudspeaker warning of an imminent blast before it detonated, according to police, who called the incident an “intentional act.”
The explosion in the city’s Arts District destroyed storefronts, scattered ash and debris through the streets, and sent at least three people to the hospital with noncritical injuries, police said.
In a video posted on social media, which the Washington Post has not independently verified, a voice can be heard saying, “This area must be evacuated now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.” The message was followed by the sounds of an explosion, and the video of the street scene turned to a blur.
Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that “there were announcements coming from the RV, that’s the extent of what we can say at this point.” He said that police took the warning seriously and evacuated people from a residential area.
#UPDATE: Don Aaron with Metro police says it appears the RV explosion "was an intentional act." The scene at 2nd/Commerce in downtown Nashville will be active for an extensive period of time. ATF, FBI and other agencies involved in investigation. We are LIVE on @WKRN. pic.twitter.com/SfYilpVdqf— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) December 25, 2020
BREAKING: This is the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. It arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Please contact us via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online via https://t.co/dVGS7o0m4v. @ATFHQ pic.twitter.com/JNx9sDinAH— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
BREAKING: AP sources: Authorities have found human remains in the vicinity of the explosion in downtown Nashville. Find updates here: https://t.co/WZv5vkagOh— The Associated Press (@AP) December 25, 2020
Luckily, only three people went to the hospital after the blast. The Associated Press reported that a body was found later in the afternoon. An anonymous source told the publication that “authorities have found human remains in the vicinity of the explosion that rocked downtown Nashville early Christmas morning. It is unclear how the remains are related to the Friday explosion or whether they might belong to the person believed to be responsible or a victim.”
So, we’ll keep you posted. At the same time, we have this odd interview by Mayor John Cooper who cracked a joke about this matter on live television. While addressing the public, Cooper said that first responders were going “to do everything and make sure, you know, that this is the only explosion that happens in Nashville today.” He started to laugh afterward. This was not lost on people. Was it because of nervousness? Maybe, but it shouldn’t be hard for a mayor of a city that just had a bombing to not crack a joke and laugh, especially now that a dead body has been found. What if it is a victim?
Have no fear guys, the worst mayor in the city of Nashville’s history showed up to laugh about the bombing. pic.twitter.com/zoA1aoWHaP— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 25, 2020
Why in the world would democrat Mayor John Cooper laugh after an explosion went off in his city? pic.twitter.com/JgnjSNEJ5s— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) December 25, 2020
Why is Mayor John Cooper laughing when he says, “....make sure this is the only explosion that’s gonna happen in Nashville today.” Then he goes on to talk about broken water mains. ??— Independent Women's Voice (@IWV) December 25, 2020
What in the world. #NashvilleExplosion pic.twitter.com/NN2nFLoQWd
Statement from our chuckling mayor regarding the attack on Music City today ?@JohnCooper4Nash? : “This is the only explosion that’s going to happen in Nashville today, ha ha, ha ha...”— John Rich (@johnrich) December 25, 2020
?@seanhannity? ?@DonaldJTrumpJr? ?@WatchChad? pic.twitter.com/4RHlgY7oe7
Mayor John Cooper being interviewed and he is acting a bit nonchalant, odd about this all. Not sure what is up with him.— Marsha?????? (@Bellamy11111) December 25, 2020
This wasn’t a hard task, Mr. Mayor.
Now, it’s not the same thing at all, but it does fall within the category of proper decorum when dealing with a serious crisis. In Virginia, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam was dealing with the fallout from a racial explosion that rocked the state in 2019. Northam admitted to participating in blackface for a dance concert in the 1980s. He was Michael Jackson and he was asked at a presser if he could still moonwalk. It took the wise words of his wife, who was standing by his side, to say it would be inappropriate, but he thought about it. He looked down at the floor, appearing to be pondering if he could do it. Again, not an RV bomb, but still cracking jokes about it is not good and neither is admitting to engaging in behavior that many consider racist and then wondering if you could moonwalk in front of the cameras. The sad part is that Northam did moonwalk right out of being accountable for this fiasco. He’s still governor.
UPDATE: Now, the body found was that of the perpetrator, Anthony Warner. The motive is still unclear. There are allegations that Warner was paranoid about 5G networks, but that’s not been verified yet and I wouldn’t be shocked if this turns out to be false. There was also a bit of a facepalm moment when we learned that the bomber’s then-girlfriend told police that this guy was making bombs in his RV. Warner only intended to kill himself in the blast.