John Hinckley Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, apologized for his actions in his first television interview since being granted an unconditional release from prison.
Speaking to CBS News, Hinckley said he feels remorse for wounding Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty.
“I feel badly for all of them. I have true remorse for what I did,” Hinckley said. “I know that they probably can’t forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did.”
Hinckley said that he doesn’t remember how he felt when he tried to kill Reagan.
“It’s such another lifetime ago. I can’t tell you now the emotion I had right as (Reagan) came walking out. I can’t tell you that,” he said. “It’s something I don’t want to remember.”
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent several decades in a mental institution. In the early 2000s, a judge allowed him to visit his parents at their home in Virginia. In 2016, he was granted permission to live with his mother full time but was still subject to certain restrictions. Earlier this month, he was officially given an unconditional release and is considered a free man.
When the 67-year-old was asked what he plans to do now that he is free, he said he wants to keep writing and performing music.
“I don’t know anybody else who’s certainly had a life like I’ve had,” Hinckley said. “I mean, what I tell people now if you want to get to know John Hinckley, listen to his songs.”
His music career is on hold, though, after three scheduled performances in Brooklyn, Chicago, and Connecticut were canceled due to security concerns.