The Witness series brings together the men and women of Law Enforcement who were instrumental in landmark events in American history. For information about upcoming programs please visit the Museums Events pages.
The National Law Enforcement Museum held a panel discussion on the March 30, 1981, attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The panel included former US Secret Service Special Agents Tim McCarthy and Danny Spriggs along with former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Tom Baker. The first bullet hit Press Secretary James Brady in the head, the second hit Metropolitan (DC) Police Officer Thomas Delahanty in the neck, the third hit a building across the street, the fourth hit McCarthy who was shielding the President as other agents rushed him into the limousine, the fifth hit the bullet-resistant glass window of the limousine, and the sixth ricocheted off the armored side of the limousine hitting the President under his left arm. “It was a reaction based on my training,” Special Agent McCarthy said. “I’d like to say I thought about it, but I didn’t. I reacted the way we were trained to react. As I’ve always said, I was very happy I was able to do it that day, based upon my training. I don’t know if I could do it again. I don’t want to find out, by the way.”
Program generously sponsored by: Target