A federal judged ruled Wednesday that John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Reagan in 1981, will be released from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, citing in his opinion to the court that Hinckley no longer posed a threat to himself or others.
Beginning no sooner than Aug. 5, the 61-year-old will be “permitted to reside full time in Williamsburg, Va., on convalescent leave,” the court ruled. Under this order, Hinckley must live with his mother for at least the first year and carry a cellphone that tracks his movements, work or volunteer at least three days a week and he cannot drive more than a 30-mile radius outside of Williamsburg.
The court did, however, grant him permission to drive to monthly hospital appointments in the Washington area.
At 25, Hinckley opened fire outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, striking Reagan; his press secretary, James S. Brady; a Washington police officer; and a Secret Service agent. Brady suffered permanent brain damage and eventually died from his injuries in 2014.
Hinckley had become obsessed with actress Jodie Foster after seeing her in the 1976 film “Taxi Driver,” in which a disturbed man plots to assassinate a presidential candidate.
He followed Foster to New Haven, Connecticut, where she was attending school at Yale University, in an attempt to win her over. After failing, Hinckley stalked President Jimmy Carter and was eventually arrested on firearms charges. He later went after Reagan.
Hinckley was also ordered to have no contact with Foster, any member of Reagan’s family, Brady’s family or those of his other victims.