Nashville bar owner: Explosion ‘knocked us … out of bed’

A Nashville bar owner said Friday’s shocking explosion “knocked” him and his brother “out of bed.”

The Christmas morning explosion linked to a suspicious vehicle has left at least three people injured so far and appears to have been “an intentional act,” according to police.

Joey DeGraw, owner of the music-themed bar Nashville Underground, which is about half a block from the explosion site on 2nd Ave. North, was in bed when the explosion happened around 6:30 a.m. local time.

Windows are blown out in a building near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

“My brother and I … we live just a couple blocks away up on a 23rd floor, and it knocked us both out of bed,” DeGraw told Fox News on Friday, adding that he thought it was an earthquake initially.


The restaurant owner said “there’s not much chance” his bar “wasn’t damaged” in the explosion based on photos his friends have sent him. The police asked DeGraw if they could use the bar as their temporary headquarters as they investigate.

Officers first responded to the area after receiving a report of shots fired. They called in the bomb squad after seeing the suspicious vehicle, an RV. Nashville Police Chief John Drake said that officers found the RV with a recording saying that it would explode in 15 minutes. At that point, Drake said, police began evacuating buildings in the area and the vehicle blew up soon after.

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

As of late Friday morning, police did not know if anyone had been inside the vehicle at the time of the explosion, and they were not yet able to confirm that shots were actually fired.

“Some police officer obviously had his eyes peeled and picked out something suspicious, thank God, because it doesn’t seem like this was unintentional, and certainly, they would have tried to hurt more people, and this was not the hour to do it,” DeGraw said.


The FBI’s Memphis office is currently investigating the incident, and the Justice Department is allocating resources to assist.

“I hope everybody pays attention to what’s going on in Nashville today,” DeGraw said.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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