Last updated on: 10/14/2010 | Author:

Ronald Reagan Assassination Attempt

Mar. 30, 1981

1. President Ronald Reagan waves to onlookers outside the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel, just before John Hinckley, Jr. starts shooting. From the left are Secret Service agent Jerry Parr, in raincoat, Press Secretary James Brady, Ronald Reagan, Reagan’s aide Michael Deaver, unidentified policeman, Policeman Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy.
2. Within three seconds, six shots were fired by John Hinckley, Jr.* Secret Service agent Jerry Parr pushes the president into a waiting, bulletproof limousine (shown at right) and guards move in on the gunman. Out of view is Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, who was shot in the stomach as he stood in front of the president at the beginning of the shooting.
3. Secret Service agents join the commotion while others take cover. Lying in the foreground with hand outstretched is Washington, DC policeman Thomas Delahanty, who was shot in the back. Behind him lies Press Secretary James Brady, who was seriously wounded with a shot to the forehead. Both men survived the attack.
4. Washington, DC police officer Thomas Delahanty and Press Secretary James Brady lay wounded on the ground. Secret Service agents continue to pin down John Hinckley, Jr. while two agents reach for what appears to be the gun that had been fired. A Secret Service agent in the foreground holds an UZI submachine gun.


Video montage of Reagan’s attempted assassination and recovery.
Source: C-SPAN, “American Artifacts: Reagan Assassination Attempt – ‘Rawhide Down,'”, Mar. 24, 2011 

* 25-year-old John Hinckley, Jr.’s assassination attempt on the president stemmed from an obsession with actress Jodie Foster and the movie Taxi Driver in which Foster played a role. Hinckley believed an “historical deed,” such as assassinating the president, would impress the actress. Hinckley’s trial in 1982 ended in a not-guilty verdict by reason of insanity.