‘You could count on him:’ Former coach reflects on officer’s actions before Nashville bombing

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Newly-released police body camera video shows the tense moments leading up to the explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, and what followed.

The footage comes from Officer Michael Sipos’ body camera on Christmas morning.

Sipos has Knoxville ties. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and went to high school at Hardin Valley Academy.

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel heard from Sipos’ offensive line coach, Rudy Furman, from back when he played at Hardin Valley.

Furman said everything Sipos did as a football player, he did for the team. And the new team he’s on – the Metro Nashville Police Department – came out with the ultimate win on Christmas. The department says six officers, including Sipos, saved lives minutes before the explosion.

“I was not shocked when I heard he was one of the six. My initial reaction was, ‘that’s Michael.’ He was doing his job, he was doing what he thought needed to be done, regardless of his own safety, or his own desires. He was putting others in front of himself,” Furman said.

While the state and people across the country now know Sipos as a hero, Furman knew him before that, as a hard working student-athlete.

“Michael was one of those guys on the team that was really quiet. He wasn’t loud, but he was there every day. He was there every day, and he worked as hard as he could work,” Furman said. “Anything you asked him, he was right there. You knew he was going to be there. You could count on him. He was going to be doing what he was supposed to be doing when he was supposed to be doing it.”

It’s a skill Officer Sipos is clearly carrying with him years later. Because downtown Nashville was counting on him, and he did not let them down.

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