WASHINGTON -- Nancy Reagan remained 'calm and composed' after learning her husband was shot and while waiting at the hospital during the two hours he was in surgery, her press secretary said Monday.
'She's calm,' said Sheila Patton at a news briefing after President Reagan was wheeled from the operating room.
'She's been calm and composed throughout this ordeal.'
She said Mrs. Reagan is grateful for the outpouring of support from around the world 'and for the fine medical attention her husband is receiving,' and she is praying for the three other persons who were wounded.
The press secretary said Mrs. Reagan first heard 'there was a shooting' from her Secret Service agent, but did not immediately know her husband had been hit.
'She had just returned to the White House from a luncheon,' Ms. Patton said. 'She learned the president had been shot after she arrived at the hospital.'
Mrs. Reagan left the White House about 2:35 p.m. EST, Ms. Patton said, and arrived at George Washington University Medical Center five minutes later.
She also said the first lady talked with the wives of the other two victims taken to George Washington: press secretary Jim Brady and Secret Service Agent Timothy J. McCarthy, both of whom were wounded. The third victim, a Washington police officer, was taken to another hospital.
'She has seen both Mrs. Brady and Mrs. McCarthy,' the press secretary said. 'It was a private meeting in an office near the emergency room.'
The Reagans' son, Ronald Prescott Reagan, flew to Washington and is with his mother at the hosptial. Mrs. Reagan's chief of staff, Peter McCoy, is keeping the other Reagan children informed of developments.