40 Years Ago: President Reagan Shot in Washington, DC

Reagan Assassination Attempt

President Ronald Reagan being shoved into the President’s limousine by secret service agents after being shot outside a Washington hotel Monday, March 30, 1981. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

It was 40 years ago today, March 30, 1981, that President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded in Washington, DC, in an assassination attempt. The shooting was captured by TV cameras, which were nearby as he walked out of the Washington Hilton Hotel after a speaking engagement.

President Reagan had only been in office for a little more than two months.

WATCH: ABC News Coverage of Reagan Assassination Attempt with Frank Reynolds

White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty were also wounded. Everyone survived, but Brady was left with brain damage and was permanently disabled. He died in 2014 after becoming a gun control advocate.

The gunman, John Hinckley Jr., was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Reports say he had been trying to impress actress Jodie Foster and was hoping for fame. He was sentenced to a mental care facility, but was released in 2016.

John Hinckley

FILE – In this Nov. 18, 2003 file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)


Reagan was injured more seriously than was known at the time. He recovered and was released from the hospital on April 11, 1981.

He remained in office until January 1989, finishing two terms in the White House. He died in 2004.

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