‘Rawhide Down’: Former Secret Service Agent Revisits Reagan Shooting Scene

BY Elizabeth Summers  March 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM EDT



At 2:27 p.m. on March 30, 1981, John Hinckley, Jr. opened fire from behind a ropeline at the Washington Hilton Hotel. It took him less than two seconds to wound President Ronald Reagan, Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service Officer Tim McCarthy and Washington, D.C., police officer Thomas Delahanty.

Former Secret Service agent Jerry Parr is credited with saving the president’s life twice that day, first by pushing him headfirst into a waiting limousine, then by making the decision to change course and take “Rawhide,” President Reagan’s code name, to George Washington University Hospital instead of the White House.

Thirty years later, Parr agreed to return to the hotel where the shooting took place, and share his recollection of the moments surrounding the assassination attempt.

Video edited by Mike Fritz, camera by Mike Fritz and Quinn Bowman