The now famous Dick Cheney hunting incident was February 11, 2006 as the then-Vice President Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington during a quail hunt.
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Whittington said, “Accidents do and will happen – and that’s what happened last Friday,” a week later.
The NY Times headline read: Cheney shoots fellow hunter in mishap on a Texas ranch
Here’s the official timeline: Cheney, Whittington and Willeford had first shot birds together in a covey. While Whittington was searching for a downed bird, Cheney, Willeford and an ‘Outrider’ (Guide) walked towards another covey about 100 yards (100 m) away. Whittington approached to within 30 or 40 yards (40 m) of the shooters. A single bird flew up, around and behind Cheney in the direction of Whittington. Cheney shot at the bird and hit Whittington. (Source)
Four years later Whittington reportedly told the Washington Post that he bears no ill will toward Cheney. He calls him “a very capable and honorable man” and adds, “He’s said some very kind things to me.”
But the headlines all read: No apology.
Cheney jokes flooded TV programs.
“Over the weekend while on a hunting trip down in Texas, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a member of his hunting party. He apologized. In fact, he told Brit Hume that he was actually trying to hit Cindy Sheehan.” –Jay Leno
“Dick Cheney and his buddies go down there hunting in Texas, and Dick Cheney guns down a guy. And they’re hunting quail, and the quail disappeared. They vanished. And reports now that they’re hiding in the mountainous area near Pakistan” –David Letterman
“President Bush says he is standing behind the vice president. Way behind him.” –Jay Leno
“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt … making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting veep since Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, of course, (was) shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird.” –Jon Stewart (Watch video clip)