UK & World News

  • 9 August 2014, 10:39

Reagan Press Chief's Death Ruled 'Homicide'

Former White House Press Secretary James Brady's death this week has been ruled a homicide.

A Virginia medical examiner said on Friday that Brady had died as a result of the injuries he suffered 33 years ago when he was wounded during the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

It is not clear whether the gunman, John Hinckley, could now be charged with Brady's murder.

District of Columbia police say they have been notified of Friday's homicide ruling.

Hinckley - who is a patient at a psychiatric hospital in Washington DC - was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted murder of Reagan.

Brady died on Monday aged 73 from a series of health issues, his family said.

He was one of four people wounded, including Reagan, in the shooting by Hinckley outside the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981.

A bullet struck Brady in the head, causing brain damage, partial paralysis, short-term memory impairment, slurred speech and constant pain for the rest of his life.

He endured a series of brain operations in the years after the shooting.

Brady devoted his life to the pursuit of stronger gun laws after he was left permanently disabled in the shooting.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is named in his honour.

Despite being unable to perform as press secretary after the shooting, Reagan allowed Brady to keep his title until his second term in office ended in 1989.

In 2000, the White House press briefing room was renamed in honour of Brady.