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US Marks 30th Anniversary of Attempted Reagan Assassination

Former White House press secretary James Brady, face down at right, and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty, front, lie on the ground after being wounded during the assassination attempt on President Reagan as he was leaving a hotel in Washington (

Thirty years ago Wednesday, a 25-year-old gunman tried to kill then U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

The U.S. is marking the anniversary with a number of events, including a news conference with Reagan's former press secretary, Jim Brady, who was severely injured in the shooting.

Brady has become a leading advocate for preventing gun violence.

The attempted assassination was recorded on video tape by camera crews that were following the president.

The video shows Reagan and staff members leaving a downtown Washington hotel when six shots rang out. Members of the president's security detail then pushed him into his car and rushed him to the hospital.

One of the bullets hit Reagan in his left lung, near his heart, and he was losing blood. But according to accounts from people who were there, when he arrived at the hospital emergency room, the president, a Republican, joked with doctors that he hoped they were all Republicans.

President Ronald Reagan gives thumbs up sign during a 1985 speech in Oklahoma City.
President Ronald Reagan gives thumbs up sign during a 1985 speech in Oklahoma City.

The president underwent surgery, but made a quick recovery and returned to the White House 12 days later.

Officials arrested 25-year-old John Hinckley for the shooting and charged with trying to kill the president. He said he shot President Reagan in an attempt to impress actress Jodi Foster.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was placed in a Washington mental institution, where he remains under psychiatric care to this day.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.