Forty years ago, would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel with a .22-caliber revolver to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed but had never met.
Reagan was seriously injured by a ricochet off the presidential limousine that hit him under his left arm, broke a rib and punctured his lung. He underwent emergency surgery at George Washington University Hospital, was stabilized and was released 12 days later.
Press Secretary James Brady, for whom the Brady Bill — a federal package of assault weapons regulation — was named was shot in the head, but survived with permanent brain damage. Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy was shot in the chest, and police officer Thomas Delahanty was struck in the spine. Both men lived.
Hinckley, charged with 13 offenses, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to a psychiatric facility for treatment. He was released in 2016.
The Press asked readers for their memories of the day, and we received one from David Berry from Johnson City. He said:
"I was at work on an assembly line at TPI Corporation when I heard the news that President Reagan had been shot. The whole building got quiet, except for a few loud and rude supervisors who were obviously not supporters of the president. When I got home that afternoon, my mom was on couch watching the news and crying. The eerie thing about this was that, not too many days prior to the shooting, I was in Washington for a National Young Republicans Conference and had walked through the area at the hotel where President Reagan was shot several times. I often wondered if Hinckley was scouting the area out while I was there."