The Day The World Heard John Lennon Had Been Killed

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Source: Billboard

Today (12/08/2017) marks the 37th anniversary of legendary musician John Lennon’s death. Lennon, being one of the most famous people on the planet in 1980, was shot three times outside of his New York City apartment.

Here is what happened that horrific day in 1980. 

Lennon, 40, and Ono, then 47 had welcomed Rolling Stone photographer Annie Leibovitz into their apartment for a photo shoot for the magazine the morning of December 8th, 1980.

Later that afternoon, at about 4:30 p.m., Lennon and Ono exited the Dakota and were met by a man who asked to have his copy of Double Fantasy signed. This was nothing out of the ordinary, as Lennon often interacted with fans who gathered outside his home.

Lennon asked the man if he wanted anything else, but the fan just wanted the record signed, according to reports. Lennon and his wife headed to the Record Plant in Midtown Manhattan to work with producer Jack Douglas, who produced Double Fantasy, on Ono’s disco single, “Walking on Thin Ice.”

Several hours later, after 10 p.m., the couple headed home. As they exited their car in front of the Dakota, Ono asked her husband if he wanted to get something to eat at the nearby deli. He declined, saying he would rather tuck 5-year-old Sean into bed and let their nanny head home for the night.

As they neared the building, the same fan he’d greeted earlier approached. But this time, he shot Lennon four times in the chest. Three of the bullets from the stranger’s Charter Arms .38 exited through the singer’s back.

The suspect stayed at the crime scene until the police showed up. The man who shot Lennon was Mark David Chapman. (Below is an excerpt taken from an interview he gave in 1992 stating why he killed Lennon)

Lennon was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Once news spread of the tragedy, TV programs were interrupted with the news, as you will see below.

NBC News Special Report

Monday Night Football. 

Why I Killed John Lennon

ABC News

Stevie Wonder announces John Lennon’s death to his live audience.