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Reagan Shooter Hinckley to Be Released

  • VOA News

FILE - In this March 30, 1981, photo, U.S. president Ronald Reagan, center, is shown being shoved into his limousine by secret service agents after being shot by John Hinckley outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.

FILE - In this March 30, 1981, photo, U.S. president Ronald Reagan, center, is shown being shoved into his limousine by secret service agents after being shot by John Hinckley outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.

The man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan 35 years ago is being permanently released Saturday from a Washington mental hospital. John Hinckley's release comes after a federal judge ruled in July that he is not a danger to himself or the public.

Hinckley will live with his 90-year-old mother in a gated community in Williamsburg, Virginia, about 250 kilometers southeast of the nation's capital, under dozens of conditions.

FILE - John Hinckley (L) arrives at Federal Court in Washington, D.C., guarded by U.S. Marshalls, Sept. 2, 2003.

FILE - John Hinckley (L) arrives at Federal Court in Washington, D.C., guarded by U.S. Marshalls, Sept. 2, 2003.


The release of the 61-year-old Hinckley follows years of rehabilitation at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, where he lived for three decades after being found not guilty by reason of insanity of shooting president Reagan and three other people.

Hinckley began stalking Reagan, and subsequently shot him, White House press secretary James Brady, a U.S. Secret Service agent and a local police officer in 1981 outside a Washington hotel. Brady sustained brain damage in the incident and died in 2014. President Reagan and the other shooting victims recovered from their wounds.

Hinckley is no stranger to his mother's home in Williamsburg. He has been on extended visits there in recent years as part of a transition to conditional independent living.

FILE - John Hinckley (L) gets into his mother's car in front of a recreation center during a sanctioned visit with her, in Williamsburg, Virginia, March 19, 2015.

FILE - John Hinckley (L) gets into his mother's car in front of a recreation center during a sanctioned visit with her, in Williamsburg, Virginia, March 19, 2015.


Among the rules Hinckley must follow include a requirement to work or volunteer at least three days a week. He must also continue to receive therapy and cannot drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. Hinckley is not allowed to conduct Web searches for information about his crimes or victims, nor can he establish social media accounts without permission.

If all goes well after a year, Hinckley may be granted the opportunity to live with roommates or even alone.

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