The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports Whittington, then 78, was part of a quail-hunting party on a South Texas ranch with Cheney and others when the vice president accidentally shot him in the face and torso after a covey of game birds took flight. Dozens of tiny bird-shot pellets peppered his face and torso. Whittington lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. He suffered what at the time was called a minor heart attack because some of the lead shot hit blood vessels near his heart. The incident, first reported by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in South Texas, was extensively covered locally, nationally and internationally at the time. Is that what happened? So we were walking and as the dogs found the birds, well then, you walk up on the covey and then they flush and you shoot. Some of my children have seen the trailer.
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At first, it sounded like a routine report that might or might not have been exaggerated, or might or might not have even been true. But when she heard the name Vice President Dick Cheney followed by something about a shooting, her attention focused fast. Around the evening before, Armstrong told the reporter, the vice president accidentally shot another hunter when a covey of quail burst from a field just around sundown. The other hunter, year-old Austin lawyer Harry Whittington, was peppered with pellets on the side of his face and in his torso. He was in the hospital, but the wounds were not life-threatening.
The victim, Harry Whittington, a year-old lawyer, was transferred from the intensive care unit to a private room in a Corpus Christi hospital on Monday. He was listed as stable, with wounds to his face, neck, chest and rib cage from the pellets sprayed at him from 30 yards away by Mr. Cheney's shotgun. Calls to Mr. Whittington's room were routed to the hospital's marketing department, which said it was taking messages for him, but he did not return a call. Texas officials said on Monday night that Mr. Cheney would be issued a warning citation for hunting without a proper game stamp on his license. The local sheriff said an investigation had concluded that the episode was "no more than an accident. At the White House, Mr. Cheney made no statement on Monday and remained out of public view.
Harry Whittington, the Republican lawyer shot by Dick Cheney in a hunting accident in Texas last weekend, emerged from hospital yesterday and apologised to the vice-president for all the trouble the shooting had caused. Mr Whittington, who suffered a minor heart attack when a shotgun pellet lodged near his heart, absolved Mr Cheney of any responsibility. As he was discharged from hospital in Corpus Christi, he said: "We all assume certain risks in whatever we do, whatever activities we pursue. And regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen.