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Published On: Sun, Aug 10th, 2014

James Brady death ruled a ‘homicide’ 33 years after John Hinkley Jr shooting

The death of James Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was wounded in the assassination attempt on Reagan in March 1981, was a homicide, a medical examiner ruled Friday.

John_Hinckley,_Jr._MugshotBrady died as a result of the grievous injuries he suffered 33 years ago, the Office of the Medical Examiner for the Northern District of Virginia said. This decision means gunman John Hinckley Jr. could be charged with Brady’s murder.

Brady was 73 when he died at his home earlier this week.

“We did do an autopsy on Mr. Brady, and that autopsy is complete,” a spokeswoman said.

Gail Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Brady family, said the ruling should really “be no surprise to anybody.”

“Jim had been long suffering severe health consequences since the shooting,” she said, adding that the family had not received official word of the ruling from either the medical examiner’s office or the police.

Hinckley had been found not guilty by reason of insanity of attempted assassination of President Reagan and of related charges. Brady, Reagan, police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy were shot on March 30, 1981, as they left the Washington Hilton Hotel. Shot in the head, Brady suffered the longest lasting injuries.

“There is no statute of limitations on murder in either the federal or state system,” NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams on News4 said.

But, he added, “We are a long way from knowing what the federal authorities are going to do with this, or whether they are going to do anything with it.”

He had been partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair since the assassination attempt, and his speech was slurred. Brady used his own experience to launch a campaign against gun violence that led to groundbreaking gun control legislation signed into law in 1993.

“What I was, I am not now,” Mr. Brady said in 1994. “What I was, I will never be again.”

This, of course, was the lead in to the Brady bill.

President Obama James Brady

President Barack Obama stops by Press Secretary Jay Carney’s meeting with James Brady in Carney’s West Wing office at the White House, March 30, 2011. Brady was former President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary during the assassination attempt on President Reagan thirty years ago. Brady’s wife Sarah, right, and son Scott, center, joined him for the meeting. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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