President Reagan’s Shooter Released After 35 Years


Ronald Reagan shown on the ground seconds after Hinckley fired shots. Extreme panic broke out as civilians tried to find the source of the sounds.

Anna Anglin, Staff Writer

2016 marks 35 years since John W. Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan outside of a Washington D.C hotel. He was shot in the chest and suffered from a punctured lung. 2016 also marks the year Reagan’s “would-be assasinator” is released.

Hinckley’s judge allowed John to live with his 90 year old mother in the suburbs of Virginia, starting September 10th, arguing, “he no longer posed a danger to himself or others.” He will be released from St. Elizabeth psychiatric hospital where he has been living for the past several decades.

Although things are looking up for Hinckley, much of the public’s outlook on the judge’s decision is ambivalent. Patti Davis, Reagan’s daughter, expressed in a telephone interview, “I think it’s terribly sad and wrong.” The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation strongly opposes his release. They told press “…we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others.

This decision has left residents of Hinckley’s neighborhood to live with a very disturbing thought: a would-be presidential assassin is right down the block. However, Tom Leitch, a member of the community Hinckley will be living in, has an almost sympathetic view. He believes John is simply “an old man who poses no threat.

It’s always a tough decision when someone is ruled not guilty when committing an unlawful crime because of mental illness. Especially when the victim is a close family member or friend. It raises extreme uproar and controversy, and John Hinckley’s case is no exception.