John Hinckley Jr. apologizes for shooting Ronald Reagan and 3 others

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man who injured President Ronald Reagan in 1981 apologized for his actions on Tuesday and said he did not remember how he felt when he fired the shots who also injured three other people.

John Hinckley Jr. told CBS Mornings in his first TV interview since being released from judicial supervision this month that he feels sorry for all the lives his actions have affected.

“I feel bad for all of them. I have real remorse for what I did,” Hinckley said. “I know they probably can’t forgive me right now, but I just want them to know I’m sorry for what I did.”

Going back to that day, Hinckley recalled Reagan walking out of the Washington Hilton after giving a speech: “And I was right there, and I shot him, which unfortunately hit other people too. “

When asked what feelings led him to shoot, Hinckley replied that he didn’t remember those emotions and that he didn’t want to.

“It’s such another lifetime ago. I can’t tell you now the emotion I felt when (Reagan) came out. I can’t tell you that,” he said, later adding, “It’s something I don’t want to remember.”

Hinckley was 25 and suffering from acute psychosis when his gunfire injured Reagan and three others. The assassination attempt crippled Reagan press secretary James Brady, who died in 2019. It also injured a police officer and a Secret Service agent.

Hinckley told Maj. Garrett, CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent, that he was glad he didn’t make it. He said at the time of the shooting he “didn’t have a good heart” and was doing things “that a good person doesn’t do.”

Jurors found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity, and he spent decades in a psychiatric hospital in Washington.

“I wasn’t just a cold, calculating criminal in 1981,” he said. “I do believe I had a serious mental illness that made it difficult for me to tell right from wrong at the time.”

Hinckley began making visits to his parents’ home in Williamsburg, Virginia in the early 2000s. A 2016 court order granted him permission to live with his mother full-time, albeit under various restrictions, after experts said his mental illness had been in remission for decades.

He signed a lease last year for a one-bedroom apartment in the Williamsburg area and lives there alone with his cat, according to court documents. Her mother died in July. He also posted songs online and searched for a venue willing to let him sing and play guitar in front of a live audience.

Hinckley had previously been subject to restrictions that prevented him from owning a firearm, using drugs or alcohol or contacting family members of victims. But a federal judge in Washington had said months ago that he would release Hinckley from those restrictions if he remained mentally stable. These restrictions were lifted on June 15.

Tuesday’s apology was not Hinckley’s first. His lawyer Barry Levine told a court hearing last year that Hinckley wanted to express his “sincere” apologies and “profound regret” to the people he shot and their families as well as the actress. Jodie Foster, who obsessed him at the time. of the shooting, and to the American people.

While Hinckley expressed regret on Tuesday, he said he hoped to soften the public’s perception of him.

“I’m just trying to show people that I’m a regular guy who’s just trying to get along like everyone else,” he said.

But he doesn’t expect to see forgiveness from his victims, saying: “I really don’t think the Brady family or the Reagan family or Jodie Foster – I don’t think they want to hear from me.”

“I feel bad for what I did,” he said. “If I could take it all back, I would. I swear – I’ll take it all back.

The Huffington Gt

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