Hinckley, now 67, shot the US President as he left the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981. He said he wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster, whom he had seen in the movie “Taxi Driver”.
One of his bullets bounced off the armored presidential limo, hitting Ronald Reagan in the chest, near the heart. Reagan survived the attack, but had to undergo surgery for a punctured lung. Before the operation, Reagan jokingly asked if the surgeon was a Republican.
The chaos immediately after the attack
Three other people were injured, including then-White House spokesman James Brady, who was partially paralyzed and had speech problems. Hinckley did not attempt to escape and was arrested on the spot.
In a court case in 1982, Hinckley was found innocent on the basis of insanity. He remained in a mental hospital until 2016, after which he was placed on probation and lived with his mother in Williamsburg. This meant he was not allowed to have any contact with the Reagan and Foster families and also had to wear a GPS tracker. Those conditions have now been completely lifted, despite previous protests from former President Reagan’s daughter.
Police photo of John Hinckley, Jr.
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