James Brady’s death has been ruled a homicide, 33 years after he was wounded in an assassination attempt, police in Washington have said.
The former White House press secretary was shot in the 1981 attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life by John Hinckley Jr.
James Brady suffered brain damage and partial paralysis and died this week at 73.
John Hinckley Jr. has been confined to a psychiatric hospital since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
James Brady died on August 4 at the age of 73.
A lifelong Republican, James Brady had served in the Nixon and Ford administrations and as a Senate aide before joining Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.
On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. opened fire on Ronald Reagan’s party outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, striking four people, including James Brady and President Reagan.
James Brady was shot in the head and was the most seriously wounded. Ronald Reagan was shot in one lung. A Secret Service agent and a police officer suffered lesser wounds.
Photos and video of the incident show the wounded press secretary sprawled on the ground as Secret Service agents rushed the president into his vehicle and others wrestled John Hinckley Jr. to the ground.
The former press secretary suffered brain damage, partial paralysis, short-term memory impairment and slurred speech.
John Hinckley Jr. was tried and found not guilty due to insanity. Since the trial he has been committed to a Washington DC psychiatric hospital, but has been allowed to spend limited time at his mother’s home.
James Brady, who served in three Republican administrations, became an advocate for stricter gun control.
He lobbied for legislation to require background checks for handgun sales. The so-called Brady Bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
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