NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is investigating after a lit firework was thrown into a convertible at a Nashville intersection on Sunday night.
"They probably thought to themselves that was fun in their own sick twisted way," Colin Kirby said.
Colin Kirby and his friends just finished watching July 4th fireworks. They were trying to beat the traffic from the downtown Nashville celebration.
That's when a car pulled up next to them at a red light on Church and 17th in Midtown.
"They rolled down the back window, threw a firework at me, bounced off the top of my head, landed on my top, blew up on that," Kirby said.
The white car then speeds through the red light to turn left onto 17th Avenue North and the firecracker explodes.
A man was burned at a Nashville intersection after a passenger in another vehicle threw a lit firecracker into his car on Sunday night.
The video that captured the incident is from one of Kirby's friends who has a dash camera.
Kirby said he tried to reach back and grab what looked like a firework, but couldn't get a hold of it because it was too hot.
"Turned back around. It blew up. Couldn't hear anything. Couldn't hear anything," Kirby said.
The ATF is now helping MNPD with the investigation.
News4 spoke with Special Agent in Charge Mickey French on Thursday about the biggest question the federal agency is trying to answer.
"The first question we're trying to answer is who is responsible for doing this," French said.
French said they're looking at what exactly was thrown into Kirby's car.
"Was it a simple firecracker or was it an illegal explosive device?," French said.
French said if it was an explosive device, that would mean federal charges. One might be possession of an explosive device.
French said he's never seen anything like this in his more than 20 years with the agency. He calls it a careless act.
"It could've also caused injury to others if the driver was affected to the point his car went forward at a red light, it could've caused a very serious traffic accident," French said.
The ATF told News4 the federal charges and prison time would depend on the type of explosive device. Potentially, they said it could be up to ten years in prison.
ATF Certified Fire Investigators and the U.S. Bomb Data Center are trying to determine if there have been similar incidents across the country.
At this time, police have not identified any suspects. MNPD said they have received a handful of tips.
Their focus has been on the car that threw what looked like a firework and who it belongs to. Police said they are making some headway.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.