NEW YORK — Just before Christmas 1984, Bernie Goetz opened fire on four black young men on a Manhattan subway train.
Fearing he was being mugged, Goetz shot them before jumping off the train and disappearing into the subway tunnel.
The media quickly dubbed him “The Subway Vigilante.” A week later, Goetz turned himself in and confessed that he acted in self-defense.
The incident sparked a racial firestorm and resonated with New Yorkers worn down by rampant crime. Was Goetz trying to protect himself, or were his actions racially motivated?
‘The Subway Vigilante’ premieres Friday, March 8, at 10:30 p.m.
Only in New York chronicles some of the most controversial moments in New York City.
A subway shooting that ignited a racial firestorm, the deadly days of the crack epidemic, a pair of high-profile trials that exposed the hidden horrors of domestic abuse and a rising political star assassinated inside the city’s most hallowed halls, retold with rare footage pulled straight from the WPIX archives.
Only in New York features new interviews with PIX11 journalists, expert analysts and the headliners at the center of the story. Watch Fridays in March on PIX11 TV.