Death of James Brady Ruled Homicide Due to 1981 Shooting

From MPD:

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch announced today that the death of former Presidential Press Secretary 73-year-old James Brady has been ruled a homicide related to the 1981 shooting.

On Monday, March 30, 1981, at approximately 2:25 pm, while President Ronald Reagan was exiting the Washington Hilton Hotel, a gunman fired multiple shots. President Reagan was struck by a bullet that ricocheted off his limousine. Press Secretary Brady was also struck by a bullet. Additionally, a United States Secret Service agent and an MPD officer were also shot.

The suspect, John Hinckley Jr., was immediately subdued by additional MPD officers and members of the United States Secret Service. Hinckley was charged with the attempted assassination of the President of the United States, in addition to other charges related to the shooting.

On Monday, August 4, 2014, at approximately 10:40 am, at his residence in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. James Brady succumbed to his injuries sustained in the 1981 shooting and was pronounced dead.

His 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.

Mr. Brady’s death brings the number of criminal homicides for 2014 to 71.

Members of Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are reviewing this case.”

14 Comment

  • brookland_rez

    Looks like we’re in line to have around 100 murders this year, maybe just under. When I first moved to DC, the murder rate was over 200 still. A lot of progress has been made, but it seems like the past several years, the rate has flat lined. We need to really work to get it down some more.

    • While I agree with you that we need to get the number down, this murder technically happened 33 years ago…

  • This makes no sense to me. It’s like saying someone who survived cancer died of it because he eventually dies. James Brady lived a normal life expectancy despite having been shot & severely injured. This smells political to me.

    • It’s like saying someone who dies of cancer – but who takes a long, long time to die of the cancer that eventually kills him. Not sure what political advantage there might be to this — would you care to elaborate? My guess is that if there are any repercussions to this, the main person that needs to be concerned would be John Hinkley.

    • Political? Please explain.

    • This is just classic, old school, common law stuff — a very longstanding principle of criminal law that goes way back in history, before the founding of the country.

      There is no political angle whatsoever. The coroner has not colluded with the Obama administration to say, “Hey, can we use this to take away people’s guns?”

      Seriously, just go get a crim law casebook from a law library somewhere and read up. This is not controversial.

    • What would be the cutoff time for you? 4 days? A month?
      I’d say the coroner probably has more expertise than the rest of us.

  • Yeah this doesn’t make any sense to me. “Homicide” 33 years later feels like a stunt, political or otherwise.

    • I can easily see this. Mr. Brady died of a stroke from a blood clot that was a direct result of his gunshot. Or he died from an infected ulcer that would not have occurred if he wasn’t paralyzed.
      Basically it’s homicide if the ME determines that the person died one second before they would have without the criminal act. That could easily be what happened in this case. I doubt it changes anything, although it would be sad if this was the one put DC over 100 murders for the year.

  • So, if it’s now a homicide, then what? We’re certainly not going to waste everyone’s time and money retrying Hinkley for this, are we? The guy wasn’t remotely mentally stable when he did it, and he’s almost certain to never be released from the facility he’s in now.

  • It would make more sense to me to revise the homicide stats from 1981. It’s not doing any policy makers or law enforcement officers any favors to have another homicide on the books that really isn’t an indicator of 2014 crime.

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