The command post back at the White House immediately picks up an open line to George Washington.
Shaddick wants to make sure Horsepower knows about the revised destination.
“Horsepower—Shaddick, you copy, GW.’
“Correct. We’ve made the call.”
Then, sounds of police sirens screaming, and a burst of audio that sounds like “Connecticut Avenue.”
“Let’s hustle,” Shaddick tells his command post. He wants to get as many agents as possible to rush to George Washington to establish a secure perimeter.
When the limo arrives, no one is there to greet the team. Parr and Shaddick grab Reagan underneath his arms and carry him into the emergency room, where he collapses. It would later emerge that none of the bullets struck Reagan directly; in the process of doing his job, Parr accidentally pushed Reagan into the path of a jagged, flattened bullet that had ricocheted off a door frame.
The tape ends a few moments later with the arrival of “Rainbow,” Nancy Reagan, at the hospital’s 22nd Street entrance.
The Secret Service decided to release the tape after its public-affairs division learned that it existed, a spokesman said. The Washington Post’s Del Quentin Wilber had discovered its existence while interviewing agents for his book, “Rawhide Down,” about the day Reagan was shot. The book is due out next week.
Since the assassination, the Secret Service’s protective methodology has changed significantly.
And so has the geography of the assassination site: the president still attends numerous functions at the Hilton, but his limo now enters a special armored “drop” constructed on the exact spot of the Reagan attempt. (Never again would a president arrive and depart from a planned event without a secured location or a crowd that had been screened for weapons.)
But a few things remain the same.
The presidential protective division uses the same frequency for its communications. (The digital encryption is impenetrable to outsiders, however.)
“Stagecoach” is still the code name for the limo. “Halfback” is code for the follow-up car. The PPD command post is still known as “Horsepower.” There’s still a direct line between the Secret Service and the George Washington University Hospital, which now sports an emergency trauma facility named after Reagan.
And Reagan, until the day he died, was always “Rawhide.”
An ABC cameraman, Hank Brown, recorded the famous video sequence; an Associated Press photographer, Ron Edmonds, received a Pulitzer Prize for his photographs of the moment.