John W. Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, will be released from a government psychiatric hospital over 35 years after the assassination attempt, a US federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
The 61-year-old Hinckley no longer poses a danger to himself or others and will be allowed to leave St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington on August 5, although he will be subject to treatment and monitoring conditions, Judge Paul L. Friedman said in a ruling.
Hinckley shot Reagan in the chest on March 30, 1981, outside the Washington Hilton hotel, where the then President had just given a speech, Efe news reported.
Three others were also wounded in the attack, including White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot in the head and left paralysed.
When Brady passed away in 2014, his death was ruled a homicide and deemed to be directly related to the gunshot wound he suffered in the 1981 assassination attempt.
Brady became a staunch gun-control advocate following the attack, which occurred just over two months into Reagan’s presidency.
Reagan (1911-2004) suffered a punctured lung and was hospitalised, but he made a full recovery after surgery.
After an eight-week trial, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity on June 21, 1982, a decision that sparked public outrage, Efe news added.
Hinckley said he had been motivated by a desire to impress Jodie Foster after compulsively watching the 1976 film “Taxi Driver”, in which the American actress, then 13, portrayed a teenage prostitute.