Entries in President Ronald Reagan (1)


Secret Service Releases Audio of Reagan Assassination Attempt

Dirck Halstead/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The United States Secret Service on Friday released 30-year-old radio transmissions from the moments after President Ronald Reagan was shot in an attempted assassination.

"Shots fired. Shots fired." a voice says after the president departed a speaking engagement at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981.

Officials say it is the first time Secret Service has released recordings of their communications in an emergency.

Secret Service agents threw the president into the bulletproof limousine, initially directing the motorcade back to the most secure place around. "Back to the White House," the voice on the tape says.

Agents at first claimed Reagan was unharmed, using his codename for security.

"Rawhide is okay."

But the president was not. Secret Service agent Jerry Parr was lying on top of Reagan in the back of the limo. When it appeared President Reagan had been hit, they headed for the hospital.

"We want to go to the emergency room," the tape says. "Going to George Washington fast."

Agent Parr can be heard saying, "let's hustle." Parr's decision was credited with saving the president's life.

The recording reveals no shouting. The agents remained calm, using terse phrases to make clear that their worst nightmare was unfolding.

President Reagan walked into the emergency room, then collapsed and was rushed into surgery, which saved his life.

John Hinckley, 54, shot Reagan and wounded three others over an obsession with actress Jodie Foster. At trial, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington.

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