Cheney accepts onus for shooting a fellow hunter
The US Vice President has accepted blame for shooting and defended his decision not to disclose the accident publicly until the next day.india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 10:56 IST
US Vice President Dick Cheney has accepted full blame for shooting a fellow hunter and defended his decision not to disclose the accident publicly until the next day.
"I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry," Cheney told Fox News Channel on Wednesday in his first public comments since the shooting Saturday while he was hunting on a south Texas ranch.
Cheney described seeing 78-year-old Harry Whittington fall to the ground after he pulled the trigger while aiming at a covey of quail.
"The image of him falling is something I'll never ever be able to get out of my mind," Cheney said. "I fired, and there's Harry falling. It was, I' have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment."
Cheney was soft-spoken and sombre during the interview with Fox's Brit Hume.
"You can talk about all of the other conditions that exist at the time but that's the bottom line and - it was not Harry's fault," he said. "You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."
Texas officials said the shooting was an accident, and no charges have been brought against the vice president.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report issued on Monday said Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney.
"Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.