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Timeline Following Cheney's Hunting Mishap
February 11, 2006

A timeline of events following Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident, all times EST:


4 p.m.: Cheney begins an afternoon quail hunt with four other hunters on the private Armstrong Ranch in south Texas. They had been hunting earlier in the day, but took a break for lunch.

6:30 p.m.: Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter Harry Whittington while aiming for a bird. Secret Service agents and medical personnel with Cheney tend to wounds on Whittington's face, neck and chest.

7:20 p.m.: An ambulance takes Whittington to a Christus Spohn Hospital Kleburg.

7:30 p.m.: White House chief of staff Andy Card tells President Bush there was an accident, but Card is unaware Cheney was involved.

7:50 p.m.: The head of the Secret Service office in McAllen, Texas, calls the Kenedy County sheriff to report the accident. The sheriff asks to speak to Cheney, and they schedule an interview for 9 a.m. Sunday. At the White House, presidential aide Karl Rove tells Bush that Cheney was the shooter, after talking to ranch owner Katharine Armstrong.

Saturday evening: Cheney and the rest of the hunting party sit down for dinner at the ranch. At some point, sheriff's deputies who heard reports of the ambulance responding to an accident at the ranch stop at the front gate to see if anyone needs help, but are told no one needs assistance. The Secret Service earlier had said the deputies were seeking to interview Cheney, but on Tuesday they said that was not the case. Armstrong says no one at the dinner discussed announcing the accident to the public because they were all focused on Whittington's well being.

9:15 p.m.: Whittington is flown to Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial and is treated in the intensive care unit.


6 a.m.: White House press secretary Scott McClellan is awakened by a phone call from the White House situation room, informing him Cheney was the shooter. McClellan contacts the vice president's office and urges that the information be made public quickly.

9 a.m.: Kenedy County sheriff's deputies interview Cheney. Armstrong begins calling a reporter at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and leaving messages. Armstrong says she told Cheney she wanted to tell the local paper what happened, and he agreed.

12 noon: The reporter returns Armstrong's call.

2:48 p.m.: The Corpus Christi Caller-Times posts a short report about the accident on its Web site after confirming the account with the vice president's office.

3:34 p.m.: The Associated Press, following up on the local story, moves a news alert about the shooting.

Early Sunday evening: Cheney visits Whittington in the hospital before flying back to Washington.


1:15 p.m.: Cheney takes part in an Oval Office meeting with Bush and the United Nations secretary-general, but leaves before reporters are brought in.

3 p.m.: Whittington is moved from intensive care to a "step-down" unit.

5 p.m.: The chief deputy sheriff for Kenedy County says the shooting is being handled as a hunting accident.

6:20 p.m.: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issues its hunting accident report, which says the main contributing factor was a "hunter's judgment factor" when Cheney sprayed his fellow hunter while aiming at flying birds. The report says both Cheney and Whittington were violating state game law because they did not have required $7 upland game bird stamps. Both are issued warning citations.

7:20 p.m.: The vice president's office issues a statement saying it was not aware that Cheney needed the $7 stamp and that he has sent a check for that amount to the state.


7:30 a.m.: Hospital officials estimate this is when Whittington suffered a "silent heart attack" without realizing it. It was caused by a shotgun pellet that moved in or near his heart. Cheney is told shortly afterward that doctors have decided to perform a cardiac catheterization.

10 a.m.: Doctors perform the procedure. Whittington is back in the intensive care unit and told he will probably need to stay at the hospital another week for observation.

12:30 p.m.: Cheney's chief of staff passes him a note that Whittington's doctors will be holding a news conference in 30 minutes.

1 p.m.: Hospital officials announce the heart problem. Cheney watches on television.

1:30 p.m.: Cheney calls Whittington to wish him well and offer assistance.

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