John Hinckley Jr. is now free to shop as he pleases — 35 years after he attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, September 12, 2016, 1:12 PM
Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin enjoyed his first taste of freedom by doing some shopping — at Target.
John Hinckley Jr. was released Saturday from custody and will now live full-time at his 90-year-old mother’s home in Williamsburg, Va.
One day later — and 35 years after Hinckley shot Reagan in a deranged attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster — Hinckley was spotted wearing a cap and blue shirt while perusing belts, pants and other clothes at Target and Kohl’s.
Washington D.C. District Judge Paul Friedman declared Hinckley fit to leave a mental hospital in July — a process that had been years in the making.
20 photos view gallery
Reagan shooter John Hinckley Jr. seen in public for the first time since his release
Doctors said for many years that Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting, was no longer plagued by mental illness.
“It is fair to say the lives of few people have been scrutinized with the care and detail that John Hinckley’s has been,” Friedman wrote.
For more than 27 years, “Mr. Hinckley, by all accounts, has shown no signs of psychotic symptoms, delusional thinking, or any violent tendencies,” Friedman added.
Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan in a deranged plot to impress Jodie Foster.
Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan on March 30, 1981. In addition to severely wounding the president, he shot Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a police officer, Thomas Delahanty.
Reagan recovered and died in 2004.
Brady suffered permanent brain damage from the shooting shooting and died in 2014.
John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination.
(FBI / HANDOUT/EPA)
Brady’s death was ruled a homicide by medical examiner, but federal prosecutors opted not to bring additional charges.
Hinckley first began leaving St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on monitored visits with his parents in 2003.
Authorities gradually granted him more freedom, and he went bowling, attended lectures, outdoor concerts and joined a community center for exercise, documents show.
The attempted assassination severely wounded Ronald Reagan. Press Secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a police officer were also wounded.
(Michael Evans/Getty Images)
Doctors wrote that it was important he not become isolated.
“I don’t like flipping around the TV, I want to do things,” a court document quoted Hinckley as saying, adding that he wants to “fit in” and be “a good citizen.”