Nashville officials have revealed that the 1964 Petula Clark song “Downtown” was played moments before an explosive device went off near Second Avenue and Commerce Street, near the city’s art district. This bomb reportedly exploded inside of an RV at around 6:30 a.m. on Christmas morning, killing the suspected bomber and injuring three others, according to the Tennessean.
On Christmas morning police officers responded to a shots fired call in Nashville at 6 a.m., with officers coming across a suspicious RV outside a nearby AT&T building. Officials also state that the device went off as the bomb squad were en route to the vehicle’s location. Investigators have since identified the bomber as Anthony Quinn Warner.
“What I remembered was ‘Downtown where the lights shined bright,’” Police Officer James Luellen said during a press conference, which referenced the song’s lyrics.
Originally written by Tony Hatch, “Downtown” became one of Clark’s biggest international hits, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart upon its release. A number of notable performers such as Dolly Parton, Emma Bunton and The Saw Doctors have covered the iconic single.
The blast decimated entire buildings near the blast, with some shop owners calling the scenes “heartbreaking.” Reports state that around 40 buildings have been damaged by the blast, which temporarily left residents without internet access.
“I know those streets like the back of my hand. It’s my life. It’s my love. I’m down there every day of the week for years, and I can’t even make out what the shop was or is or where (it is) almost. And it’s truly heartbreaking,” Pete Gibson, the owner of Pride & Glory Tattoo on 2nd Avenue, told CNN.