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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 00:15 GMT
No charges over Cheney shooting
American Vice-President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney was said to be traumatised by the shooting
US Vice-President Dick Cheney will not face criminal charges in relation to the accidental shooting of a companion during a hunting trip last Saturday.

Kenedy County sheriff's office backed Mr Cheney's version of events, concluding that the shooting was indeed an accident.

It said the hunting party had not been drinking at the time and had been wearing the correct safety gear.

President Bush said Mr Cheney handled the incident "just fine".

The shooting happened last Saturday during a quail hunting trip at a ranch in south Texas.

The victim, Harry Whittington, 78, has also said the shooting was an accident.

He was left with pellets in his body, leading to a minor heart attack.

Doctors say Mr Whittington is now on the road to recovery.

"Deeply traumatic"

In his first comments since the accident happened, President Bush said he was satisfied with Mr Cheney's explanation of events.

"I thought the vice-president handled the issue just fine", he said.

CHENEY SHOOTING TIMELINE
Sat 11 Feb 1830*: incident takes place
1930: President Bush informed
2000: Bush told Cheney pulled trigger
2115: Whittington is flown to hospital and put into intensive care
Sun 12 Feb 1400: Cheney's office confirms incident to Corpus Christi Caller-Times
1448: Caller-Times runs Katherine Armstrong's account
Early Sun eve: Cheney visits Whittington in hospital
Mon 13 Feb 1500: Whittington moved from intensive care
Tue 14 Feb 0730: Whittington suffers minor heart attack and moved back into intensive care
1330: Cheney calls Whittington to wish him well
Wed 15 Feb: Cheney takes full blame in first TV interview
Thurs 16 Feb:Kenedy County sherrif's office says Mr Cheney will not face criminal charges
*All times EST (GMT-5)

Mr Bush said Mr Cheney had been deeply affected by the incident, describing it as "a deeply traumatic moment" for Mr Cheney, "and obviously it was a tragic moment for Harry Whittington".

Mr Cheney came under strong criticism for not reporting the matter to the public immediately.

However, the president did not make a public objection to Mr Cheney's decision not to release details of the shooting until Sunday, the day after it happened.

"I thought his explanation yesterday was a very strong and powerful explanation and I'm satisfied with the explanation he gave," the president said.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear Dick Cheney take the blame for the shooting



SEE ALSO:
Cheney's reputation taking flak
16 Feb 06 |  Americas
Man Cheney shot has heart attack
14 Feb 06 |  Americas
Cheney shooting delay under fire
14 Feb 06 |  Americas
Cheney shoots man in hunt error
13 Feb 06 |  Americas
Cheney faces impropriety claims
06 Feb 04 |  Americas
Profile: Dick Cheney
03 Sep 04 |  Americas


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