Gun control activist and former Reagan White House press secretary, James Brady death this week was ruled a homicide resulting from John Hinckley Jr.'s 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, according to a police report on Friday.
The medical examiner's and police department's report states, "[Brady's] remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Northern District of Virginia. An autopsy was conducted and revealed the cause of death to be a gunshot wound and consequences thereof, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide."
Now that the liberal icon's death is classified a homicide, the "Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are reviewing this case."
The assassin, John Hinckley, Jr., was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting that left Secret Service agents dead and wounded, and left Brady partially paralyzed and depending on a wheelchair.. The shooting of President Ronald Reagan shocked the nation and he was "saved by the quick-thinking for his security force and the medical prowess of his physicians," according to former New York homicide detective, Richard Barlinger.
Originally the 73-year-old Brady's death was believed to be from natural causes when he passed away on April 5. The medical examiner claims that his death was caused by the bullet that entered Brady's head when Hinckley fired his.22-caliber revolver until it was empty in March 1981.
The 59-year-old Hinckley continues his confinement to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., and
where he still receives psychiatric treatment in spite of his acquittal in 1982.
During a controversial government decision in 1999, he was allowed to leave the facility without supervision to visit to his mother in Williamsburg, Va., for up to two weeks.
Gail Hoffman, who once served as the legislative director for Handgun Control, Inc., headed by Brady and his wife Sarah, said on Friday that she could not make a statement until she read the M.E.'s report. Hoffman, a Democratic Party activist, claims she "led the historic legislative campaigns to pass the Brady Bill and assault weapons ban, winning unprecedented victories against the powerful gun lobby."
To liberals, Brady and his wife were at the forefront of battling the "uncaring gun lobby" in their campaign to end violence in American society. But to conservatives, they posed an enormous threat to the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment freedoms.
In a statement released by Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the advocacy group that bears the name of the former press secretary and his wife, Sarah, he said:
“We are heartbroken over the passing of James Brady. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Sarah, and the rest of his family as we mourn the loss of our dear friend and a true American hero.
"Jim never gave up fighting and never lost his trademark wit despite suffering a traumatic brain injury after being shot in 1981 by a mentally unstable young man attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Since then, he and Sarah have worked tirelessly to pass legislation that makes it harder for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns."
Brady's widow Sarah, just hours after he passed away, wrote an op-ed in which she states: "Congress needs to finish the job the Brady law so effectively started to ensure that guns are kept out of the hands of people who should not have them."