President Ronald Reagan was exiting the Washington Hilton hotel after speaking to a group when a man hoping to impress actress Jodie Foster fired a shot on March 30, 1981.
John Hinckley fired six shots, including one that deflected off the limo into Reagan’s ribs that punctured a lung and caused internal bleeding. Reagan, ever the actor, later joked he forgot to duck. He would soon recover.
White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and Metropolitan police officer Thomas Delahanty were also wounded. Brady’s injury was the worst, becoming permanently disabled with brain damage that ultimately led to his 2014 death.
Hinckley was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity and was confined to a nearby mental hospital. He was released in Sept. 2016 to live with his mother.
A plaque describing the events is outside the T St. exit where many buses pick up guests. It’s a quiet area high atop Connecticut Ave. Except in those scary moments.