Tom Brook was the first British journalist to report live from the scene of John Lennon’s murder outside the former Beatle’s home in New York on 8 December 1980. Here, he gives his personal recollections of what it was like to cover the shooting, and its aftermath for BBC News.
On the evening of 8 December 1980 I was a young inexperienced journalist living in New York who’d recently arrived from London. I was totally unprepared for the drama that would unfold.
It began with a late night phone call from pop impresario Jonathan King, who was then a columnist for BBC Radio 1 living in New York. He told me he’d heard reports of a shooting outside the Dakota, Lennon’s home, and that the former Beatle was possibly the victim.
Before long I was racing up 8th Avenue in a taxi and I arrived at the Dakota sometime after 11.00 pm bearing a tape recorder and notepaper.