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A video has emerged that appears to capture a warning message that emanated from the RV that exploded in the downtown Nashville bombing.
A witness told The Tennessean that the RV also broadcast a 15-minute countdown before blowing up, saying, “Whoever did it did give fair warning.” You can watch the video later in this article.
Early on Christmas morning, around 6 a.m., officers received a mysterious shots fired call, although they say it’s not yet clear whether there actually was gunfire. “They encountered an RV that had a recording that said a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes,” police said in a noon news conference on December 25.
“Officers decided to evacuate the building nearby.” About a half hour later, the bomb went off, causing what authorities described as a “massive crime scene.” Three people suffered minor injuries, and a police officer was knocked off his feet. Authorities said there were “announcements coming from the RV.”
The parked RV exploded in an area of downtown Nashville that contains residential units. It was parked outside of an AT&T building. Several buildings were damaged. You can see videos and photos throughout this article.
The warning message has added an unusual twist to the bombing story.
WKRN-TV reported in a live broadcast that a message was “playing from the RV” before the blast. The video below, which was posted on a new Twitter page but also published by local Nashville television stations, captures a message urging people to evacuate. It’s not clear whether the suspect was inside the RV when it exploded, authorities said.
“If you can hear this message, evacuate now. This area must be evacuated now,” a woman’s recorded voice says in a monotone voice in the video.
Witnesses Reported Hearing Rounds of Gunfire Before the Blast
Betsy Williams, who owns the Melting Pot restaurant on the street, told The Tennessean that she heard “multiple rounds of loud, rapid-fire gunshots” around 4:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, so she called 911.
She also heard the recording, telling the newspaper she believed it said, “Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode.” She fled with her family still in their pajamas.
A police spokesman said in a news conference, “The immediate downtown area has been sealed off by law enforcement. A number of police dogs have been called and are now searching the area… to make sure there are no secondary devices. We have no indication there are secondary devices.” The search is occurring out of an “abundance of caution.”
He said the initial call, before the explosion, came in as a shots fired call. However, authorities have not yet confirmed whether shots actually were fired.