When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Staff Report

On December 25,  while most people were opening gifts and sharing time with family, 63 year-old Anthony Quinn Warner of Antioch, Tennessee was heading towards Second Avenue North with an RV containing explosives.

Warner was first seen around Second Avenue North at 1:22 a.m. In an interview with The Post, local business owner and witness Betty Williams described the RV as a white, clean-looking, older model. Between 5:11 and 5:26 a.m, what sounded like more than 20 gunshots were heard, waking up nearby residents. Nashville police arrived at the scene around 6 a.m. 

Betty Williams said that a voice recording warned of a bomb in the area and ordered people to evacuate. She said the voice began to count down every minute. Nashville Police Department released footage from a body camera driving past the vehicle. In the video, viewers can hear a voice say “Stay clear of the vehicle. Do not approach this vehicle. Your primary objective is to evacuate.” Police in the area heard the warning and called in a bomb squad. They went around the area urging people to evacuate and leave their buildings. The bomb went off at 6:29 a.m, hospitalizing 3 people with noncritical injuries, and damaging at least 41 businesses.

Not only were people given a warning a few minutes before the bomb went off, but in August of 2019 Pamala Perry, who claimed that she was Warner’s girlfriend, said that Warner was making bombs in his RV. According to CNN, the attorney of Perry, Raymond Throckmorton, called the police saying that Perry made “suicidal threats to him via telephone.” When police arrived at Perry’s home they found two unloaded pistols, but Perry said that they belonged to Warner. According to a “Matter of record” report from MNPD, she told police that she did not want them in her home and that Warner was “building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence.” 

Throckmorton, who was at Perry’s home when the police were, said that Warner talked about military bomb-making, and he believed that Warner was capable of making a bomb. The police did watch Warners’ home for a few days, but since there was no proof that bombs were being made and there was not any suspicious activity, they were not able to obtain a search warrant or subpoena.

After the explosion, confusion spread out to all who heard or witnessed the bomb, but even through all of the confusion police had to take charge and make sure there were no secondary bombs. Clouds of smoke were visible all throughout Nashville on Christmas morning and many residents in the area filmed videos of the destruction. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) asked President Donald Trump for assistance, saying that the damage downtown was too bad for the state to handle.

Warner’s remains were found in the wreckage, but he was the only fatality reported. Officials searched his home located about 10 miles away from where the explosion happened. Several of Warner’s neighbors said that they had seen an RV that fits the description of the one that blew on on Christmas morning. 

Even after losing her business and home, Betty Williams is still finding joy in the bad. In an interview with CNN, she said “When that happens, the tough get going.”