John Hinckley Jr., who was released from court restrictions on Wednesday, shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Hinckley tweeted: “After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, freedom at last!!”
John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after shooting and wounding Reagan, as well as White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty.
Hinckley was acquitted of his first degree murder charge. He spent more than three decades at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC.
John Hinckley’s release was approved in September by The U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., with “very few people studied more thoroughly than John Hinckley” noted by Judge Paul Friedman at the time of his release. The conditions of his confinement have gradually been eased since 2003.
The assassination attempt took place 25 years ago. Hinckley had already undergone some psychiatric treatment before trying to kill the president.
On the day of the famous shooting, Reagan gave a speech at a Washington hotel and was on his way into a limousine when John Hinckley pushed a gun through a crowd of people and fired six shots.
Hinckley became obsessed with Taxi Driver and its star, Jodie Foster. In the years leading up to it, Hinckley tried to kill Reagan to impress the actress.
In 2016, the court granted him convalescent leave from the mental hospital. This allowed Hinckley to live with his mother in Williamsburg, Va., full time. He would already have had permission to do so part-time with the help of his doctors. The court imposed several limitations on his movement and appointments with doctors that he needed to go through monthly.
His mother died in 2021 when she was 95 years old. When she died, he was allowed to continue living in the area.
The Department of Behavioral Health supports lifting the conditions of Hinckley’s release for years; last year, they told the court that he posed “low risk for future violence.”
Hinckley announced that he would be launching a music career, releasing several original singles and touting a “Redemption Tour,” featuring 17 songs.
“A big thank you to everyone who helped me get my unconditional release,” he wrote in a post on June 1. “What a long strange trip it has been. Now it’s time to celebrate.”
On Wednesday, the venue announced that they were canceling a performance of one of his shows in Brooklyn as well as the July 8 performance.
Market Hotel said in their Instagram post that they believe ex-cons and people with mental illness can recover and that they should want them to maintain hope in them.
“We believe that it’s not worth a gamble on the safety of our vulnerable communities to give an artist with questionable morals and values a microphone and a paycheck,” officials added. “If we were going to host this event, and potentially put others at risk in doing so, it shouldn’t be just for the sake of booking some stunt.”