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Illinois police chief who once took bullet for President Reagan announces retirement

Police Chief Timothy McCarthy is a former Secret Service agent who was shot during an assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
U.S. President Ronald Reagan waves just before he is shot outside the Washington Hilton, Monday, March 30, 1981. From left are secret service agent Jerry Parr, in raincoat, who pushed Reagan into the limousine; press secretary James Brady, who was seriously wounded; Reagan; Michael Deaver, Reagan's aide; unidentified policeman; Washington policeman Thomas K. Delahanty, who was shot; and secret service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, who was shot in the stomach.

WASHINGTON — Police Chief Timothy McCarthy, who served in the Secret Service and was shot while guarding President Ronald Reagan, has announced his plans to retire from law enforcement. 

It was a life defining moment for McCarthy on March 30, 1981, as then-President Reagan left the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. after he finished addressing a labor meeting. John Hinckley Jr, described as a deranged drifter, approached the president and managed to shoot him in the chest. McCarthy, a secret service agent at the time, was one of three agents shot during the assassination attempt. 

On that day, six shots were fired at the president by Hinckley. Three of the shots hit agents, White House Press Secretary James Brady was critically injured after he was hit in the head and D.C. Police Officer Thomas Delahanty was shot in the neck.  

McCarthy recovered from his wounds and retired from the Secret Service in October of 1993 as the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office. 

Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
U.S. President Ronald Reagan waves just before he is shot outside the Washington Hilton, Monday, March 30, 1981. From left are secret service agent Jerry Parr, in raincoat, who pushed Reagan into the limousine; press secretary James Brady, who was seriously wounded; Reagan; Michael Deaver, Reagan's aide; unidentified policeman; Washington policeman Thomas K. Delahanty, who was shot; and secret service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, who was shot in the stomach.

He went on to lead the Orland Park Police Department in Illinois. McCarthy recently announced that he will retire on Aug. 1 to give the department time to find his replacement, NBC Chicago reported.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 1981 file photo, then-Chief of White House Secret Service detail, Jerry Parr, left, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy hold valor awards they received from Treasury Secretary Donald Regan in Washington for their part in the attempt on President Reagan's life.

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Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said in a statement, “While he will be sorely missed by everyone, I know he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife of 47 years, three children, and seven grandchildren while seeking new opportunities to continue to serve his community and his country.” 

Credit: Orland Park Illinois Police

In 2016, McCarthy became the first person to be awarded the Chief of Police of the Year Award, given to him by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.