Former Milwaukee Assistant Police Chief recalls experience at hotel during Nashville bombing

NOW: Former Milwaukee Assistant Police Chief recalls experience at hotel during Nashville bombing

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- It was a family vacation turned upside down. Former Milwaukee Assistant Police Chief Ray Banks was in Nashville when the bombing happened.

“That noise is intrenched in my mind and I really can’t shake it," Banks said. 

 Banks says he was awake when an RV exploded outside their hotel.

“I was laying in bed and it literally blew me off the side of the bed," he said. 

“The televisions that were on the wall they just exploded, I mean there was glass everywhere. The refrigerator door which was glass it exploded, the top of the toilet which was all porcelain, that even cracked in half.”

At the time Banks didn’t know what was going on, but he and his family grabbed a few things and ran downstairs.

“There were no windows on the first level, there was water running all over the place and when we walked out onto the street and I'm assuming it was the RV and several other vehicles on fire. The fireman started yelling and screaming at us to get out of there, we had no idea what we just walked into.”

Banks says it looked like a warzone. 

“We are truly blessed to come out of that alive," he said.

Banks and his family stayed at the hotel called Studio 154. Although it was close to explosion, he says the hotel set-up saved his family’s life.

“I think the fact that these loft style apartments didn’t have any windows probably also helped save us from sustaining any serious injuries because there was not a window left on that block.”


 Banks says he is not sure if his car is damaged.

He’s trying to make it back to the hotel to get his belongings find out about his car.

In the meantime, he says in the future he will pack an emergency bag for all family trips.

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