John Hinckley Jr., who on March 30, 1981, shot and wounded then-President Ronald Reagan, has been granted release from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., and will be transferred to outpatient care. A federal judge granted Hinckley's request Wednesday on the strict conditions that Hinckley not contact any of the victims in the shooting or their relatives. Hinckley has been in treatment at the hospital since the shooting, for which he was acquitted by reason of insanity after it was found he committed the would-be assassination to impress the actress Jodie Foster, whom he is also banned from contacting.
Hinckley shot four people, including Reagan, outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Reagan's press secretary James Brady was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the head by Hinckley; when Brady died in 2014, his death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, who said he succumbed to health problems stemming from the 1981 shooting.
CBS News reports that St. Elizabeth's is required by constitutional law to advocate for Hinckley's release because of an "obligation to transition patients to outpatient care when they are ready. This case is not about the merits of whether an individual should be able to shoot four people, including a sitting U.S. president, and then be able to spend the last third of his life as a free man."
Hinckley, now 61, will be sent to live with his 90-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Virginia. He could be released as soon as next week.