John Hinckley apologises for Reagan assassination attempt and insists he’s an ‘ordinary guy’

‘It’s something I don’t want to remember’

Hinckley apologises for Reagan assassination attempt

John Hinckley Jr has apologised for a 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan and claimed he can’t remember what was going through his mind as he fired on the president.

Mr Hinckley, 67, told CBS Mornings in his first televised interview since he was granted a full release this month that he was deeply remorseful for the shooting.

“I feel badly for all of them. I have true remorse for what I did,” Mr Hinckley said.

“I know that they probably can’t forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did.”

On 30 March 1981, Mr Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan and also shot then-White House press secretary James Brady, as well as a Secret Service agent and a Washington police officer.

He had read a newspaper article that President Reagan would be speaking at the Washington Hilton, and had a delusional obsession with wanting to impress the actor Jodie Foster.

Going back to that day, Mr Hinckley said he recalled President Reagan walking out of the hotel after giving a speech.

Ronald Reagan pictured moments before the assassination attempt

“And I was right there, and I fired shots at him, which so unfortunately hit other people, too.”

Mr Hinckley said he was suffering delusions and depression that had left him divorced from reality.

Asked about his emotions on the day, he said he can’t remember whet he was feeling and doesn’t want to.

“It’s such another lifetime ago. I can’t tell you now the emotion I had right as (President Reagan) came walking out. I can’t tell you that,” he said.

“It’s something I don’t want to remember.”

Now living in Williamsburg, Virginia, he says that nowadays he is “not just some crazy person” and wants to show people he is “kind of an ordinary guy.”

Mr Hinckley was acquitted by reason of insanity and spent the decades before his 2016 release in a Washington psychiatric hospital.

He was granted a full release this month from court supervision.

Mr Hinckley’s attempts to launch a career as a touring musician have stumbled after several concert venues cancelled upcoming performances.

The Market Hotel, in Brooklyn, New York, said the show had antagonised many people and the risk of violence was too much of a gamble. 

Associated Press contributed to this report

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