The white male domestic terrorist who blew up his RV in Nashville’s historic Second Avenue on Christmas morning – damaging three injured, crumbling buildings and damaging more than 40 businesses – played Petula Clark’s hit “Downtown” in 1964 over the camper’s speaker system . The 88-year-old English singer on Tuesday issued a statement of “shock and disbelief” that her song was the prelude to such a crime.
“I love Nashville and its people. Why does this violent act – leave such a devastation behind? Clark wrote. ‘A few hours later – I was told that the music was playing’ Downtown ‘in the background of the strange announcement – I was! Of all the thousands of songs – why this one? ‘
Clark mentions the text from the sad pop song, written by Tony Hatch: “If you’re alone and life makes you lonely, you can always go downtown.” “Maybe you can read something else in these words,” she said, “depending on your state of mind.”
Authorities have been trying to determine the mental state of the alleged bomber, Anthony Quinn Warner, who died in the blast. The 63-year-old lives in the suburb of Nashville, Antioch, where he runs his own electronics and IT business outside his home. The RV used during Friday’s attack was seen parked on its premises in the weeks before.
According to a photo released by police in Nashville, the RV was driven north after 1:00 a.m. Friday with the one-way Second Avenue and parked near a building that serves as a communications center for AT&T. Just after 6 a.m., officers arrive at the scene for a report of shots, where they hear Warner’s vehicle playing Clark’s ‘Downtown’ and a warning that it is going to explode. At 6:29 the RV exploded.
The ensuing explosion damaged historic buildings along the block and disrupted AT & T’s Internet and cell service in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. A large part of the city’s 911 system was also paralyzed. AT&T continues to bring its systems back online using portable cell towers. It is not yet known whether Warner specifically targeted the AT&T building, but investigators have reportedly investigated the suspect who contains conspiracy theories about 5G.
Conspiracy theories surrounding the bombing itself also appear online, even from some of Nashville’s notable figures. Gary LeVox, the singer of the country music trio Rascal Flatts, on Monday raised the theory that it was a missile attack that caused the damage. “It will be interesting to see what cover-up happens with this nonsense!” he writes in an Instagram post that has since been removed.
Clark, meanwhile, has expressed consolation for Nashville, a city devastated by a deadly tornado in March and the ongoing Covid-19 boom in Tennessee. “I would like to wrap my arms around Nashville,” Clark wrote. “Give you all a hug.”