WASHINGTON, March 30, 1981 (UPI) -- President Reagan was shot in the chest by a gunman Monday outside a Washington hotel. He was reported conscious and in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital.
The gunman, firing at close range, also wounded White House Press Secretary James Brady in the head before being wrestled to the ground by police. A Secret Service man and a District of Columbia police officer were also reported wounded.
President adviser Lyn Nofziger said Reagan was wounded in the left chest, and added he was conscious and in stable condition.
The president was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel after a speech to the National Conference of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
The president turned, looked in the area of where the shots were fired with a frightened expression on his face as Secret Service men shouted for him to get in the limousine.
Reagan had just walked out of the building, on the Florida Avenue side of the hotel. The assailant was waiting to Reagan's left and rear. Reagan turned when the shots were fired, placing the assailant to the right rear.
Several police officers pinned the assailant to the ground, while the Secret Service agents pushed Reagan into the limousine.
The first lady was not with the president. He was accompanied by press secretary Jim Brady, deputy chief of staff Michael Deaver and other assistants.
When the shots were fired people began to panic, ducking, sometimes falling to the ground, others in a crouch.
It was raining at the time with several hundred people standing along the sidewalk at the time. They were cheering and waving when the president came out. He turned to wave and the shots were fired.
The shots sounded like firecrackers as they exploded from the gun. From the close -- 10 feet range -- from which they were fired, it appeared they were fired from some kind of pistol.
"Get back! Get back!" shouted a Secret Service agent to bystanders.