Man Who Shot Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary During Assassination Attempt Won’t Face New Charges

James Brady and his wife during a CBS News interview in 2011 (Photo: CBS)
James Brady and his wife during a CBS News interview in 2011
(Photo: CBS)

A U.S. attorney says John Hinckley, Jr. won’t be charged in the death of James Brady, former White House press secretary and gun control icon.

Brady’s death was ruled a homicide after his death in 2014 at age 73. Brady was shot during the attempted assassination of then-president Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting that left Brady partially paralyzed. He has been a patient at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington and has received psychiatric treatment since his acquittal in 1982.

However, when Brady died in August 2014, a medical examiner attributed his death to the bullet that struck Brady in the head when Hinckley emptied his six-shot .22-caliber revolver in March 1981. The U.S. Attorney’s Office started a review to determine whether to prosecute Hinckley for homicide.

Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced that it would not pursue criminal charges against Hinckley. “The decision was made following a review of applicable law, the history of the case, and the circumstances of Mr. Brady’s death, including recently finalized autopsy findings,” read a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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