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John Hinckley Jr. Opens Up About Shooting President Reagan

John Hinckley Jr. Opens Up About Shooting President Reagan

The man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is breaking his silence after nearly forty-one years.

In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. shocked the nation when he shot then-President Ronald Reagan. After bringing a revolver to the Washington Hilton, Hinckley fired six shots, managing to hit Reagan in the chest. While the president survived, the bullets also struck and wounded two officers, as well as paralyzing the sitting Press Secretary, who later died from his wounds.

After four decades, Hinckley sat down for an interview with "CBS Mornings" to break his silence. Now an aspiring singer/songwriter, he says that music has been his focus while receiving treatment.

“I don’t know anybody else who’s certainly had a life like I’ve had. I mean, what I tell people now, if you want to get to know John Hinckley, listen to his songs.”

Hinckley expressed "true remorse" over the assassination attempt, apologizing to the victims and their families, including actress Jodie Foster.

“I know [the victims] probably can’t forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did."

He claimed the shooting was motivated by his obsession with Foster after seeing her in the 1976 film "Taxi Driver," where she played a sexually trafficked twelve-year-old girl. After stalking Foster for some time, Hinckley attempted to get her attention by imitating the "Taxi Driver" protagonist, who plotted to assassinate the sitting president.

He was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and spent nearly thirty years at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. Hinckley claimed that his mental illness "prevented him from knowing right and wrong," elaborating,

“I did not have a good heart. I was doing things that a good person wouldn’t do."

Now, Hinckley said he wants the nation to know he's sorry for his traumatizing actions, and hopes to show people he’s an “ordinary guy.”

“I’ve been the most scrutinized person in the entire mental health system for forty-one years. If I could take it all back, I would."

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