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John Hinckley’s Williamsburg concert announced and canceled on the same day

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John Hinckley

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2003 file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at the U.S. District Court House in Washington. Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has behaved well over the past year when he's been freed from a Washington mental hospital to visit his mother in Virginia, according to U.S. Secret Service reports. Hinckley, 57, has been allowed to go to mother's home since 2006, and the length of his visits has increased over time. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

John Hinckley Jr. announced on social media Tuesday that he would be giving a free concert at the Williamsburg Regional Library theater this fall. Now, the library is saying the show, which was scheduled for Nov. 4, is canceled.

In a statement, the library said that “based on the tenor of the communications the library received, it became evident that this event would be disruptive to library operations.”

Since his release in June, 41 years after he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, has been attempting to perform his solo music at venues around the country.

Not long after Hinckley announced his “Redemption Tour”, three shows in Chicago, Connecticut and Brooklyn, New York, were canceled, prompting Hinckley to tweet, “I’m looking for a music venue that won’t cave when there’s backlash.”

The library accepted Hinckley’s application for rental of the Williamsburg Library Theatre on Aug. 2, the same day that Hinckley announced the free show on Twitter.

At 5:30 p.m., the library officially canceled the event after receiving “hostile comments through chat and email,” the statement continued. “This alerted us that the concert was clearly going to become a major disruption to library operations that would impact our ability to serve our community.”

Hinckley was 25 at the time of the shooting, wounded Reagan, Washington, D.C., police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy. The shooting also paralyzed Reagan press secretary James Brady, who died in 2014.

Hinckley was reportedly seeking fame in order to impress actress Jodie Foster, whom he had stalked for several months by writing her poems, letters and calling her home.

He was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a federal court, and remained under institutional psychiatric care before his conditional release in 2016, when he went to live with his mother, Jo Ann Hinckley, in James City County. After his mother’s death in 2021, a federal judge approved Hinckley’s unconditional release beginning in June.


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