KINGSMILL, VA. - The man who shot President Ronald Reagan may soon be released from the mental hospital where he's been held for nearly thirty years.
John Hinckley Junior could soon be a free man, and he has expressed an interest in settling down in the Kingsmill area of Williamsburg, Virginia where his eighty-four-year-old mother lives. His father died in 2008.
News of Hinckley's pending release has shaken some residents of Kingsmill. Some residents are deeply disturbed at the possibility of him moving in permanently. Currently a judge allows Hinckley to visit Williamsburg for overnight visits twelve times a year.
According to published reports, he can stay for ten days at a time. One local pastor says their doors are open. Rev. Jennifer Ryu of the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists Church says they've even offered Hinckley an opportunity to volunteer in their church library, though he has not yet accepted, says Ryu.
She says others haven't been so willing to roll out the welcome mat. Rev. Ryu says when Hinckley contacted her for volunteer opportunities she contacted the church's board of directors. Ryu says there were concerns at first, but after consulting with Hinckley's social workers and others about his mental stability, they decided to offer him the chance to work in their church library.
Rev. Ryu says during Hinckley's visits to Williamsburg he's been volunteering at the Eastern State Hospital, a mental facility. There is no word yet on how soon Hinckley could be released. Ryu, who last spoke to Hinckley about eight months ago says she was told it's in the works.