NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Officer David Snowden has been a Field Training Officer with MNPD for the previous six years.
For the last year, he’s lived on 2nd Avenue North, just by Commerce Street. As an officer with Central Precinct, he likes to embrace the community he lives and works in, and just off Broadway Street feels like the epitome of Nashville to him.
Like other residents of 2nd Ave, he awoke early Christmas morning to a commotion, “gun shots and listening to what we thought were high powered rifle shots,” Snowden recalls.
Even though he was off-duty, he got on his radio and started to hear more about what was going on, including the countdown that a bomb could go off.
He said it was almost instantaneous that he started reaching out to the officers on duty. “I called and contacted Officer Hosey and began to give her codes so that she could enter into the buildings, to evacuate the area.”
Snowden knows many of the property managers in the area, knows the AirBnbs, and said he could hear the sense of urgency in the other officers voices.
“It was just again one of those feelings that if there are people in these buildings, they are protected by codes and so in order to get officers in there, they had to have those codes to get in,” he said.
You can even hear Snowden at the beginning of the released body camera video, “415B9” asking about where he should tell people to evacuate.
“Training kicks in and knowing that you have a limited amount of time to evacuate a densely populated area, um I think it’s one of those moments where you just have to rely on your instinct and rely on training.” Snowden continued, “they’re the real heroes. They were the ones that were out there that morning.”
Snowden and his fiancé were still in his fourth floor apartment when the bomb went off, but they weren’t injured. His windows were knocked out of their casing and he had extensive living room damage, and he said it’s the first time he’s had his personal and professional boundaries cross.
“I think sitting there at that moment, realizing that I had just been on the phone, on the radio with my fellow officers, and then this has now effected not only the environment that I work in but the home that I live in.”
Though he’s been displaced from his home, like others on 2nd Ave, it hasn’t stopped him from returning to work. In fact, he already had his police uniform on again by Christmas afternoon to work.
For right now, he’s taking each day one at a time, knowing he made a difference that morning.
“I’ll never be able to forget what happened that Christmas morning. It forever changed I think my life, the life my family, no doubt the life of my fellow officers as well and their mindset is this is what we do on a day to day basis.”