A hero cop is praising divine intervention for saving his life by shepherding him away from the powerful Nashville explosion.
Metro Nashville police officer James Wells is one of the six cops being heralded as heroes for putting their lives in danger to warn people to evacuate the area near a suspicious RV camper. Wells and fellow Metro Nashville police officer Amanda Topping were both at the end of their shifts on Christmas morning when fellow cop Tyler Luellen called in for back up to a report of "shots fired."
The officers discovered the RV that blared British singer Petula Clark's 1964 chart-topping song "Downtown." The recreational vehicle also played a chilling audio message that notified people that the camper was going to blow up in 15 minutes, "If you can hear this message, evacuate now."
During a Sunday press conference, Wells explained how he was walking toward the doomed RV camper, but then received a message from God.
"This might not be politically correct, but this is my truth," Wells said as he fought back the tears. "I literally heard God tell me to turn around and go check on Topping, who was by herself down on Broadway."
Nashville police officer James Wells recalls the moment he heard the explosion: "I told myself to stay on my feet a… https://t.co/NBzVR4KkkI— CBS News (@CBS News) 1609085305.0
As he was walking away from the RV around 6:30 a.m. on Christmas morning, the bomb detonated in the vehicle — causing him to lose his footing and suffer temporary hearing loss from the massive blast.
"I just tell myself to stay on your feet, stay alive," Wells said as he got emotional while reliving the terrifying situation. "And I just take off in a full-out sprint. And I'm running toward Topping and make sure she's okay. And we kind of meet in the middle and we just grab each other."
Topping said the explosion was "the biggest flames" she had ever seen in her life, as reported in WCSC-TV.
"I don't know how I kept my footing but...I couldn't see him for a second, I just lost it and I just took off in a sprint towards him," Topping said. "And, like he said, I've never grabbed somebody so hard in my life."
Video of the explosion in Nashville at the site of the RV has surfaced. I’m so angry for the people hurt and the fo… https://t.co/zvZ2XqnUyh— Robby Starbuck (@Robby Starbuck) 1608932946.0
Wells, who describes himself as a "spiritual" person, said his faith is what safely returned him to his family on Christmas.
"I'm not gonna shy away from that because that's what saved my life," Wells said. "And 'good to see you' has a completely different meaning for me now."
Nashville Explosion Updates
The explosion, which has been called an "intentional act" by authorities, wiped out telecommunications services as it damaged 41 buildings, including an AT&T hub.
Several news outlets, including CBS News and Fox News, have named Anthony Quinn Warner, a Nashville area resident, as a "person of interest" in the explosion.
The FBI is investigating the possibility that Warner was paranoid about 5G technology spying on Americans, and a possible motive for the potential bombing near the AT&T transmission station.
Several law enforcement agencies raided the homes of Warner in nearby residential Antioch on Saturday.
Davidson County records show the 63-year-old Warner deeded his Tennessee properties to a Los Angeles woman on Nov. 25, according to WBIR-TV. Michelle L. Swing, a University of Tennessee graduate, told the Daily Mail that she had no idea that she was gifted the properties worth $409,000.
"In the state of Tennessee you can deed property to someone else without their consent or their signature or anything," Swing said. "I didn't even buy the house he just deeded it over to me without my knowledge. So this all very weird to me, that's about all I can say."