NBC News has obtained new documents regarding the shooting accident involving Vice President Dick Cheney.
NBC News filed an Open Records Act request with the sheriff's office in Kenedy County, Texas, which investigated the shooting. Late Wednesday, NBC received two dozen pages of documents, including hand-written affidavits on the shooting never before made public.
There are six new affidavits from members of the shooting party. Most are dated Feb. 15, four days after the shooting. One is dated Feb. 17, almost a week after the vice president accidentally shot his friend, Harry Whittington. Some law enforcement experts say that's an unusually long period of time, after a shooting, to gather written statements from witnesses. Ideally, they say, investigators like to get such affidavits when memories are still fresh, and can't be influenced by other witness accounts.
In this case, all the accounts are similar andconsistent with how Vice President Cheney has already described the incident. The statements say Cheney and his friend were about 30 yards apart when the vice president shot, aiming for a single bird. The statements all agree this was an accident, and no one places blame on Whittington.
Several of the statements say that no one was drinking alcohol during the late-afternoon hunt — again, consistent with the vice president's account. One member of the hunting party does volunteer that she had a glass of wine at lunch, four hours before the accident.
Lisa Myers is NBC's senior investigative correspondent.