December 22 - 1984 - The Bernhard Goetz Subway Shooting
When four young black men approached Bernhard Goetz on the New York City Subway, he thought he was in danger. So he pulled out a concealed revolver and fired five shots at them. Somehow, Goetz managed not to kill anyone, but he did injure them all and decided to flee. After making his way to Vermont, Goetz manages to destroy his clothing and gun before the New York City police even realize Goetz is the "Subway Vigilante." Eventually, Goetz turns himself in to police in Concord, New Hampshire. Goetz's description is that he was in fear of his life, but his statements are odd. Goetz's criminal trial resulted in a conviction on weapons charges, but Goetz is found innocent on attempted murder and assault charges. He would later be found liable in a civil trial for injuries suffered by his victims. Through it all, though, Bernhard Goetz proved to be an odd icon for the crime problem in New York City.