Former US President Ronald Reagan’s shooter released after 41 years

Former US President Ronald Reagan

Former US President Ronald Reagan's shooter released after 41 years

John Hinckley shot Reagan and three others with a revolver outside a hotel in Washington in 1981.


John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, fully regained his freedom on Wednesday, six years after being released from a psychiatric hospital.

Earlier this month a Washington court ruled that after decades of treatment and psychological reviews, Hinckley no longer posed a threat, and that the conditions set on his life after release would be lifted on June 15.

“After 41 years, 2 months and 15 days, freedom is at last!!!” He tweeted in celebration on Thursday.

Hinckley, now 67, shot Reagan and three others with a revolver outside a hotel in Washington on March 30, 1981. Hinckley said that he wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was infatuated after seeing her in the movie “Taxi Driver”.

The four men he shot survived, although Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady, was partially paralyzed and forced to use a wheelchair.

At his trial in 1982, Hinckley was declared not guilty on the grounds of insanity, and was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital, a psychiatric institution in Washington, for 34 years.

He was released in September 2016 but was required to live with his elderly mother in a gated community in Williamsburg, Virginia, under a long list of restrictions.

These included controlling his activities and monitoring his electronic devices and online accounts.

He was also forbidden from contacting Foster or traveling to an area where a current or former president, vice president or member of Congress would be present.

Nor could Hinkley speak to the media or post any writings or memorabilia on the Internet, or display them in person without authorization.

A government report on his condition, filed in court on May 19, said his mental health “remains stable” and that his mental illness was in “decades of complete and continuous remission”.

“They have not reported or exhibited any psychiatric symptoms consistent with mood, anxiety or psychotic disorder,” it said.

Hinckley has received music therapy in recent years and has started playing guitar and singing original folk-country songs on YouTube and other music sites.

In December he announced that he would release a CD of his music.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)