Witness to History: Assassin in the Crowd: Protecting President Reagan at the Hilton
The National Law Enforcement Museum at the Washington Hilton Hotel held a discussion about the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, by John Hinckley, Jr. President Reagan was only a few months into his presidency when he spoke to representatives from the AFL-CIO at the Hilton Hotel. As he was leaving the building, he waved to the crowds of people, and then a shot rang out. President Reagan’s Secret Service rushed the president into his limo and then to George Washington University Hospital where surgeons repaired the damage from Hinckley’s bullet. Law enforcement officers tackled Hinckley at the hotel and held him at the DC jail until he was formally arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1982, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to St. Elizabeths Hospital. Last year, Hinckley was released and is living with his elderly mother in suburban Virginia.


Special Agent Tim McCarthy (ret.)McCarthy was a Special Agent in the US Secret Service Presidential Detail when he took a bullet protecting President Reagan. He is now the chief of the Orland Park (IL) Police Department.

Special Agent Danny Spriggs (ret.)Spriggs was a Secret Service Special Agent with the Presidential Protective Division on the day of the assassination attempt. Spriggs rose to the rank of Deputy Director of the Secret Service before retiring in 2004.

Special Agent Tom Baker (ret.)Baker was the Criminal Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington (DC) Field Office at the time of the assassination attempt and led the criminal investigation into John Hinckley Jr.


Mr. Tom SherwoodSherwood is a reporter for NBC News4 specializing in politics and DC government.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
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