This photo taken by presidential photographer Mike Evens on March 30, 1981 shows police and Secret Service agents reacting during the assassination attempt on then US president Ronald Reagan, after a conference outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.. Reagan was hit by one of six shots fired by John Hinckley, who also seriously injured press secretary James Brady (just behind the car).  Reagan was hit in the chest and was hospitalized for 12 days. Hinckley was aquitted 21 June 1982 after a jury found him mentally unstable. (Photo credit should read MIKE EVENS/AFP/Getty Images)
The life and legacy of James Brady
01:31 - Source: CNN

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.

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.