Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch announced late Friday that the death of James Brady, a former presidential press secretary, has been ruled a homicide related to the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.
Brady died Aug. 4 at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the Medical Examiner in northern Virginia, Brady succumbed to his injuries — a gunshot wound to the head — sustained during the shooting 33 years ago.
Brady was the victim of a failed assassination attempt on March 30, 1981, by gunman John Hinckley Jr. outside a hotel in Washington, D.C.
Around 2:25 p.m. that day, while Reagan was exiting the Washington Hilton Hotel, Hinckley fired multiple shots. The president was struck by a bullet that ricocheted off his limousine. However, Brady, a U.S. Secret Service agent and an MPD officer were all shot.
Other MPD officers and Secret Service agents quickly subdued Hinckley. Authorities charged him with attempted assassination of the President of the United States, in addition to other charges related to the shooting.
In the aftermath, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges (he claimed he wanted to impress actress Jody Foster, who he stalked, after watching the film “Taxi Driver”). Since the shooting, Hinckley has been living under the care of doctors at a mental health facility.
Learning that Hinckley bought his gun by using a false identity, Brady, who was paralyzed on the right side of his body, and his wife went on to form the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to advocate for more regulation for gun sales, which Reagan supported.
Although Brady’s death has been ruled a homicide, it’s unlikely authorities will pursue charges against Hinckley.
While few of us ever thought we’d have a blacked-out lever-action hunting rifle on our wish list, here we are with not one, but two. The Marlin Dark series was followed by the Henry X-Model, both American-made levers.