‘Freedom at last’: The man who shot Ronald Reagan was granted complete freedom

John Hinckley, the man who shot former US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was fully released on Wednesday June 15. This milestone was reached six years after his discharge from a psychiatric hospital. A Washington court had ruled earlier this month that after decades of psychiatric treatment and examinations, Hinckley no longer posed a threat

“After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FINALLY FREEDOM!!!” he tweeted in celebration on Thursday.


Hinckley, now 67, shot Reagan and three others with a gun outside a Washington hotel on March 30, 1981. Hinckley said he wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he became obsessed after seeing her in the movie “Taxi Driver”.

The four people he shot survived, although Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady, was left partially paralyzed and forced to use a wheelchair.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was then admitted to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a mental institution in Washington, for 34 years.

He was released in September 2016 but had to live with his elderly mother in a gated community in Williamsburg, Virginia under a long list of restrictions.

These included checks on his movements and monitoring of his electronic devices and online accounts.

He was also prohibited from contacting Foster or traveling to an area where a current or former president, vice president, or congressman was present.

Hinckley also could not speak to the media or post any writings or memoirs on the Internet, or view them in person without permission.

A government report on his status filed in court on May 19 said his mental health had “remained stable” and his psychiatric illness had been in “complete and sustained remission for decades”.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 1:59pm on Sunday June 26th, 2022