WASHINGTON -- The FBI has released 808 pages from its investigation of John Hinckley Jr.'s attempt to kill President Reagan, but declined to make public an interview with Reagan about the shooting to protect the president's privacy.
The documents were released Tuesday under the Freedom of Information Act based on a request from United Press International and NBC News. The request was made after Hinckley was acquitted by reason of insanity in June 1982 of charges he tried to assassinate Reagan.
The three-volume file detailed extensive interviews with eyewitnesses, including members of the press, but blackened out the names of every person interviewed.
Notably absent from the file was a three-page interview with Reagan, who was shot in the chest and nearly died from the attack.
In deleting the interview, the FBI cited the privacy exception - one of nine reasons legally allowed for refusing to release information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Also missing from the file are details about the FBI's determination that Hinckley had acted alone in the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt.
Hinckley also was acquitted by reason of insanity for gunning down White House Press Secretary James Brady and two law enforcement officials who were shot in the asassination attempt.
Brady still is recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound to his head that left him partially paralyzed.
Shortly after the shooting, the FBI said it had determined there was no conspiracy and Hinckley had acted alone.
The file made no mention of papers seized from Hinckley's prison cell at Butner, N.C., which reportedly made reference to a conspiracy. Those writings were ruled inadmissible by the trial judge and never made public.
An FBI spokesman said the Hinckley case is officially closed.
The FBI's file also outlined the investigation to find Reagan's shirt and a gold cufflink that were missing from George Washington University Hospital, where Reagan was taken following the shooting.
In addition, the FBI deleted 22 pages concerning Hinckley's 'associates and organizations,' 22 pages about his financial status and 37 pages about his personality and character.
Hinckley was committed indefinitely to a mental hospital in Washington and although he has said he intends to petition a federal judge to be released, he has taken no steps to try to win his freedom.