A U.S. District Judge has ordered the release of John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. A Hinckley bullet ricocheted off of the presidential limousine and struck Reagan, although he recovered from his wounds, going on to live until age 1993.
The assassination attempt also critically wounded press secretary James Brady, and it wounded two law enforcement officers, Thomas Delahanty and Timothy McCarthy. When Brady died after a series of health problems in 2014, the Virginia medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
Although the Reagan assassination attempt occurred before the advent of smart phones and social media, the shooting was captured on video and by a presidential photographer. Dramatic video captured the shooting itself, as well as its immediate aftermath, including the wounding of Brady, screams of shocked eyewitnesses, and response of law enforcement.
The judge ordered Hinckley released into his mother’s custody in Virginia full time after finding that Hickley was no longer dangerous to himself or others because experts believe he has recovered from various disorders, including psychosis and major depression.
A presidential photographer also captured still images of the assassination attempt. One shows Brady’s body lying on the ground. Brady recovered, but he remained partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Brady and his wife, Sarah, went on to become gun control advocates.
Watch live news coverage from the day of the assassination attempt: