Walking Free

Pope Gunman Released from Prison

Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, was released from prison on Monday after more than 29 years behind bars. The 52-year-old did little to resolve what ABC News calls “long-standing questions” about his mental health: In a statement, Agca raved, “I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century. ... I am the Christ eternal." Agca shot the pope in the abdomen, left hand, and right arm on May 13, 1981, leading the Vatican to commission the protective “popemobile.” In 1983, John Paul met with Agca in prison and forgave him. After being pardoned in Italy in 2000, he was imprisoned in Turkey for charges including the murder of liberal journalist Abdi Ipekci in 1979.