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James Brady's death ruled a homicide, police say

By Mary Kay Mallonee, CNN
updated 1:10 PM EDT, Sat August 9, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former White House press secretary was wounded in Reagan assassination attempt
  • He died earlier this week from what his family said were health issues
  • But a Virginia medical examiner ruled it a homicide, prompting authorities to reinvestigate
  • Gunman John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity

(CNN) -- Former White House press secretary James Brady's death this week was directly related to wounds he sustained in the 1981 attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, and authorities are now investigating it as a homicide, police told CNN on Friday.

Brady was shot in the head and partly paralyzed, spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair and advocating against gun violence.

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His family said in a statement that he died from health issues at 73. But a Virginia medical examiner has ruled the case a homicide, prompting a new investigation, Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Gwen Crump said.

James Brady, a former White House press secretary who became a prominent gun-control advocate after he was wounded in the 1981 attempt on President Ronald Reagan's life, died Monday, August 4. He was 73. James Brady, a former White House press secretary who became a prominent gun-control advocate after he was wounded in the 1981 attempt on President Ronald Reagan's life, died Monday, August 4. He was 73.
Gun-control advocate James Brady
HIDE CAPTION
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Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Washington, said his office is reviewing the medical examiner's findings. He had no further comment.

John Hinckley, the lone gunman who fired the shots that wounded Reagan, Brady, a police officer and a Secret Service agent outside a Washington hotel, was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

He has spent the ensuing years in a psychiatric hospital.

Hinckley was charged at the time with assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon, and it's unclear if he will face any new counts.

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CNN's Pamela Brown contributed to this report.

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