From The Archives: Remembering the Murder of John Lennon

Chattanooga (WDEF) – December 8th, 1980.  The day John Lennon died.

It started with a photo shoot in his apartment with Annie Liebovitz.

Then he conducted his final interview.

Lennon then left home for an evening recording session, pausing to sign autographs for fans.

One of those fans was 25 year old security guard Mark David Chapman.

Lennon came back home that evening to say goodnight to his son, Sean.

Chapman was still waiting, but this time he shot the singer four times.

A doorman wrestled the gun from him.

Then Chapman quietly sat on the curb, waiting for police to arrive.

Lennon was rushed to the hospital where doctors tried to resuscitate him for 15 minutes.

But they would pronounce him dead on arrival sometime after 11pm.

Chapman had flown to New York from Honolulu a few months before to shoot Lennon, but lost nerve.

A few years before, Chapman spent some time in Chattanooga.

He briefly attended college at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain.

In the days following the murder, WDEF explored his time spent here.

In the next few days, the Rev. Jesse Jackson was in Chattanooga for an Operation Push event.

And he paid tribute to Lennon and his call for peace.

The gun the Chapman used to kill Lennon was bought legally in Hawaii.

But it was illegal in New York.

The Associated Press today took a look at the gun laws then and now, to see if the same thing could happen again.

Just like today, gun control was a major issue after a high profile shooting.

Here is the story we aired in 1980 after Lennon’s murder, including the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department position expressed by a younger Jim Hammond.

Categories: Bonus Stories, From The Archives

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