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Reagan Aide Brady's Death Ruled a Homicide

Former White House press secretary James Brady, who was left paralyzed in the Reagan assassination attempt, wipes his eye during a news conference marking the 30th anniversary of the shooting, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 30, 2011.

A medical examiner in the U.S. state of Virginia has ruled the death of former White House press secretary James Brady a homicide after determining that his 1981 gunshot wound led to his death earlier this week.

Brady was shot and suffered a devastating head wound in the assassination attempt on then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

Friday's determination by a Northern Virginia medical examiner means that more charges could potentially be filed against John Hinckley, Jr., who has been at a psychiatric facility since being found not guilty by reason of insanity at a trial for the shooting.

Brady died Monday at the age of 73 from what his family described as a series of health issues.

Brady was near Reagan outside a Washington hotel when a gunman, John Hinckley, opened fire in an unsuccessful attempt to kill the president. Reagan was hit twice but recovered, while Brady was left paralyzed and permanently disabled.

Brady went on to conduct a lifelong campaign for tighter U.S. gun controls. A U.S. law requiring background checks on gun buyers bears his name, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is named after him.

After the attack on March 30, 1981, just two months into Reagan's presidency, Brady returned to the White House only briefly. He was allowed to keep the title of presidential press secretary and his salary until Reagan left office in early 1989. The White House press briefing room is named after him.

Hinckley is now 59 and remains in U.S. custody at a psychiatric institution in Washington.