The death of former White House Press Secretary James Brady has been ruled a homicide by Virginia's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The medical examiner's office says he died as a result of the injuries he suffered during the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The case is now under investigation by D.C. Police.
Brady, who suffered a bullet wound to his head outside D.C.'s Hilton Hotel, died earlier this week. Brady lived through hours of surgery and further operations after the shooting, but never made a full recovery. He was a prominent gun-control advocate and used his experience to launch a campaign against gun violence.
The ruling means the shooter, John Hinckley, could face new criminal charges. Hinckley was found not guilty for the attempted assassination of Reagan by reason of insanity and is currently a patient at St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington.
Earlier this year, a federal judge accepted a recommendation from the hospital that Hinckley be allowed to leave the facility for 17 days a month—up from 10 days—in order to stay with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia under various conditions such as keeping away from government centers as well as areas where the president or members of Congress may be visiting.