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Reagan attempted assassin Hinckley says he feels ‘true remorse’ for his actions

John Hinckley Jr., who shot former President Reagan in 1981 in a failed assassination attempt, said on Tuesday that he is remorseful for his actions following his full, unconditional release earlier this month. 

Hinckley told Major Garrett, CBS News’s chief Washington correspondent, that he is now a “completely different person in mind and spirit” from his younger self. 

“I have true remorse for what I did,” Hinckley said. “I know [the victims] probably can’t forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did.” 

Hinckley was 25 years old when he shot Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Officer Thomas Delahanty in Washington. Reagan received serious injuries and underwent surgery, while Brady had brain damage and was paralyzed. 

Brady died in 2014 from his injuries. 

Hinckley was found not guilty of the charges he faced by reason of insanity in 1982. He had said he tried to kill Reagan to impress actress Jodie Foster. 

Restrictions on Hinckley were gradually lifted over the years. He was allowed to leave a mental health facility in 2016 but was still required to follow restrictions on his travel and internet activity. 

Hinckley’s attorney said there is “no evidence” of Hinckley being a danger to society anymore following the announcement of his full release. 

Hinckley told Garrett that he is happy he did not succeed in killing Reagan and he does not have much memory of his feelings on the day he shot him. He said he believes he was released because he was not “just a cold calculating killer” and mental illness prevented him from knowing right from wrong. 

“I’m just trying to show people I’m kind of an ordinary guy who’s just trying to get along like everybody else,” he said. “If you just think I’m just some crazy person, I’m not that anymore at all.”

Tags assassination attempt James Brady James Brady John Hinckley Jr. John Hinckley Jr. Major Garrett mental health Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan
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