Could John Hinckley Jr. become the first person to ever shoot a president and then walk the streets again as a free man?
A judge is now considering the possibility, per a Fox 8 report.
Hinckley shot at President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, hitting Reagan, press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty. Brady was critically injured in the incident, eventually dying from his injuries in 2014.
“I don’t think anyone who owned a television in 1981 would have expected that we would talk about Hinckley being released,” said Dr. Felicia Flores, a psychology educator who has closely studied the attempted assassination of Reagan.
Flores added, “He was just looking for a target, essentially. He was looking for some way to commit front page murder, as he himself said. And he certainly attempted to.”
Hinckley was later found not guilty by reason of insanity, and has been living at a mental hospital. For the last two years, Hinckley has reportedly been allowed to spend 17 days a month in his mother’s home in Virginia, where he walks the streets unnoticed and as a seemingly normal citizen.
In 2015, a judge began considering whether or not Hinckley is a danger to anyone, including himself, and if he will be able to afford to live on his own. Hinckley said in court hearings last year that he has attempted to land a job at Starbucks and Subway, but both places turned him down due to his almost ever-present Secret Service escort.
Flores believes Hinckley will be released “very shortly” on permanent convalescent leave.
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