Jay Hastings, who worked at the Dakota in New York City when the late John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono Lennon lived in the building, has opened up about the singer’s last night. Hastings said that he had pressed the building’s hidden security button when “he [Lennon] came running up, immediately after hearing gunshots, and he’s like, ‘I’m shot, I’m shot’ and he just ran past me to the back office, and just collapsed.”
“[I] didn’t know how bad he was shot,” Hastings added. “I went into to the back office, Yoko [Ono, Lennon’s wife] was there, like right behind him, screaming, ‘Get an ambulance. Get an ambulance.’”
Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman on Dec. 8, 1980.
Once Hastings learned that Chapman was still outside the building, he “grabbed the billy club on top of the safe” and went “down the stairs, because I was going to clock this guy, because I was afraid he was going to get away.”
The interview comes ahead of the release of the Apple docuseries “John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial.” The three-part series is narrated by Kiefer Sutherland and covers Lennon’s death, the subsequent trial and the approach deployed by Chapman’s legal team.
Lennon was shot and killed outside his home in New York City. Chapman confessed to authorities at the scene of the crime and in 2022 told a parole board, “I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there. I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life.”
“This was evil in my heart. I wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that,” he added. Chapman is serving 20-years-to-life at Green Haven Correctional Facility and has been repeatedly denied parole.