Chaos outside the Washington Hilton Hotel after the assassination attempt on President Reagan. Delahanty (with arm outstretched) and Brady lie wounded on the ground.
|Born||ca. 1935 (age 82–83)|
|Department||Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia|
|Country||United States of America|
|Years of service||1959–1981|
|Rank||Sworn in as an officer - 1959|
Thomas K. Delahanty (born c. 1935) is a former District of Columbia policeman who was wounded during the assassination attempt on U.S. President Ronald Reagan on Monday, March 30, 1981, in Washington, D.C.
Reagan assassination attempt
President Reagan, White House Press Secretary James Brady, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy were also wounded in the crossfire. Delahanty was shot in the neck by the second of John Hinckley, Jr.'s six bullets, and he fell to the ground next to Brady who was shot in the head and seriously wounded.
Delahanty was taken to Washington Hospital Center and sent home eleven days later on Friday, April 10, 1981, and was quoted as saying, "I feel good . . . I'm ready to go."
Since the bullet had ricocheted off his spinal cord after striking his neck, he suffered permanent nerve damage to his left arm. Delahanty was cited for heroism for his valiant effort to protect the President, and was ultimately forced to retire from the Metropolitan Police Department due to his disability.
Delahanty later sued Hinckley, Hinckley's psychiatrist, and the gun manufacturer (Röhm (RG)). His argument against the manufacturer, that small, cheap guns have no purpose except for crime, and thus that the company should be held responsible, was rejected by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Delahanty lives in Pennsylvania, after having moved from suburban Washington after the death of his wife, Jean Delahanty.
Delahanty was interviewed in 2016 about the release of John Hinckley Jr., and responded: "That's their decision, I guess. I'm probably not too enthused with it, but what can you do?"
- Statement issued by physician. (April 1, 1981). The New York Times (1857-current file), p. A22; retrieved October 19, 2007, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers, The New York Times (1851-2004) database. (Document ID: 114189210).
- The Reagans: Portrait of a Marriage, Anne Edwards, Macmillan, St. Martin's Press, 2003: "[page 214] ... At 5:30 police officer Thomas Delehanty [sic] came out of surgery to remove a bullet that had gone through his neck and lodged not far from his spine ..." Delehanty [sic] had been taken to Washington Hospital Center, whereas Reagan, Brady, and McCarthy had been taken to George Washington University Hospital (pp. 209-214).
- David S. Broder (March 31, 1981). "25th Anniversary: Reagan's Brush With Death: Reagan Wounded by Assailant's Bullet". The Washington Post. page 2 of 5, "Delahanty in the neck and shoulder..."
- Lescaze, Lee (April 11, 198)1."Feeling 'Great,' President Leaves the Hospital. The Washington Post, March 28, 2006.
- Delahanty v. Hinckley, 564 A.2d 758 (D.C.App. 1989). Carnegie Mellon University; retrieved August 4, 2014.
- Ben Nuckols and Joe Mandak (August 1, 2016). John Hinckley story