1982 Spot News: Ron Edmonds, The Associated Press

Assassination Attempt on President Reagan

On March 30, 1981, AP photographer Ron Edmonds waited for President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. John Hinckley Jr. joined the crowd. Both men intended to shoot the president. One held a camera; the other, a gun.

Reagan appeared and started to wave. "I put my finger on the button," Edmonds said. "The shots rang out. Through my lens I saw him grimace."

Hinckley fired six pistol shots at the president. Secret Service agents shoved Reagan into his limo. Edmonds saw the wounded: press secretary Jim Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, police officer Thomas Delahanty. "When you're in those situations, it seems like an eternity because there is a lot going on," the photographer said. "It was awful. Just awful. I have always believed in keeping my guard up. You never know what is going to happen until it does. Fortunately, I pushed all the right buttons."

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