Reagan aide Jim Brady's death ruled homicide

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Reagan aide Jim Brady's death ruled homicide
WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton (R) listens to former Reagan Administration press secretary James Brady 06 August during a gun control event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC. Clinton, on the fifth anniversary of the Brady Bill, urged Congress to make permanent the Brady waiting period of up to five days before the purchase of a handgun. AFP PHOTO Chris KLEPONIS (Photo credit should read CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 16: James Brady, former White House Press Secretary under the Reagan Administration, visits the White House Briefing Room, which was named after him, June 16, 2009 in Washington, DC. Brady was shot in the head and became permanently disabled during the assassination attempt on former president Ronald Reagan in 1981. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton laughs with former US President Ronald Reagan's Press Secretary James Brady during a ceremony in Presidential Hall, in the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building, in Washington DC 30 November 2000, commemorating the 7th Anniversary of the Brady Law. President Clinton was joined by Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Attorney General Janet Reno, Sarah Brady and Brady. AFP PHOTO/SHAWN THEW (Photo credit should read SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: President Bill Clinton (right.) congratulates former Press Secretary James Brady during the ceremony renaming the White House breifing room in honor of Brady. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 5: US President Bill Clinton(L) speaks at a press conference while former White House Press Secretary James Brady(R) and law enforcement officials look on during ceremonies at the White House in Washington 05 March. Clinton urged lawmakers to pass a pending Senate bill making it illegal for non-immigrant foreigners to carry or purchase firearms. The initiative was prompted by last month's attack on New York City tourists at the Empire State Building by a Palestinian teacher. AFP PHOTOLeighton MARK (Photo credit should read LEIGHTON MARK/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: US President Bill Clinton (R) shakes hands with former White House Press Secretary James Brady (L) during ceremonies 28 February at the White House to mark the first anniversary of the gun control bill bearing Brady's name. Bradywas wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on then President Ronald Reagan. (COLOR KEY: Red stripes in flag.) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: James Brady (L), the Reagan Administration press secretary who was wounded during the 1981 attempted assassination of then President Ronald Reagan, watches as U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Bill at the White House 30 November 1993. The bill will require a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, ending a seven-year gun-control battle. (Photo credit should read PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) congratulates former Reagan Administration Press Secretary James Brady (R) on the passage of the Brady bill as Vice President Al Gore (2nd-L) and Sarah Brady look on during a meeting at the White House 24 November 1993. The bill will require a five-day waiting period and background check on handgun buyers. (Photo credit should read JENNIFER YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 11: Former White House Press Secretary James S. Brady and wife Sarah, actress Mariette Hartley and television journalist Diane Sawyer attend the American Suicide Foundation's LifeSavers Dinner Salute to Tina Brown and Sarah & James Brady on May 11, 1993 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Ex-WH press secy. Jim Brady, gun control advocate (re injury in 1981 Reagan assassination attempt), outside Capitol before vote on Brady Bill. (Photo by Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- This week's death of former White House press secretary James Brady, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, has been ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, District of Columbia police said Friday.

John Hinckley Jr. shot Brady, who lived through hours of delicate surgery and further operations over the years, but never regained normal use of his limbs and was often in a wheelchair. His family said he died Monday at age 73 from a series of health issues.

Nancy Bull, district administrator for the Virginia medical examiner's office, which made the ruling, declined to disclose the results of the autopsy and referred inquiries to District police.

DC police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said the department was notified of the homicide ruling Friday.

Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981, just two months into the new president's term. Reagan nearly died from a chest wound. Three others, including Brady, were struck by bullets from Hinckley's handgun.

Hinckley Jr., now 59, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of all charges in a 13-count indictment, including federal counts of attempted assassination of the president of the United States, assault on a federal officer, and use of a firearm in the commission of a federal offense, as well as District of Columbia offenses of attempted murder, assault, and weapons charges. The District of Columbia offenses included charges related to the shooting of Brady.

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, said the office "is reviewing the ruling on the death of Mr. Brady and has no further comment at this time."

Calls to Hinckley's attorneys were not immediately returned.

Officials at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, where Hinckley is a patient, have said that the mental illness that led him to shoot Reagan in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster has been in remission for decades. Hinckley has been allowed to leave the hospital to visit his mother's home in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Besides partial paralysis from brain damage, Brady suffered short-term memory impairment, slurred speech and constant pain.

Brady undertook a personal crusade for gun control after suffering the devastating bullet wound. The Brady law, named after him, requires a five-day wait and background check before a handgun can be sold. President Bill Clinton signed it into law in 1993.

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