On December 8, 1980, rock legend John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City home. The senseless killing served as an exclamation point for a violent decade – during the 1970’s there were well over 137,000 firearm homicides in the United States, culminating with 15,500 in 1980 alone. In the five boroughs that comprise New York City, there were over 1,000 firearm homicides in 1980, accounting for about 7 percent of the national total that year, with Lennon’s death being the most newsworthy. However, in the years that have passed since then, the number of firearm homicides in New York City have plummeted, to fewer than 200 in 2018. The national number of firearm homicides have also declined, although still total nearly 14,000 in 2018 (the most recent year for final data).
SOURCE: National Vital Statistics System, CDC WONDER, 1968-2018