Os­car Pis­to­rius re­counts mo­ment of killing

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

South African ath­lete Os­car Pis­to­rius has de­scribed the mo­ment he fired the shots which killed his girl­friend Reeva Steenkamp in his home.

He told his trial in Pre­to­ria he had heard noises from the toi­let and thought an in­truder was com­ing out.

“Be­fore I knew it, I had fired four shots at the door,” he said.

The trial of the ath­lete, who could face life im­pris­on­ment if con­victed of mur­der, was ad­journed un­til Wed­nes­day af­ter he broke down cry­ing.

The 27-year-old dou­ble am­putee de­nies de­lib­er­ately shoot­ing Ms Steenkamp on Valen­tine’s Day last year.

On his first day on the stand, on Mon­day, he made a tear­ful apol­ogy to Ms Steenkamp’s fam­ily.

The prose­cu­tion al­leges that Mr Pis­to­rius killed his girl­friend af­ter an ar­gu­ment with her.

‘She wasn’t breath­ing’

In the early hours of 14 Fe­bru­ary 2013, he said he had got up from bed to bring in some fans he had left out­side, in or­der to cool his bed­room.

When he heard a win­dow open­ing in the bath­room, he said, he thought there was a bur­glar try­ing to get in.

Want­ing to pro­tect Ms Steenkamp, who was not sleep­ing, he had gone to get his gun in the dark.

“I whis­pered to Reeva to get down and phone the po­lice,” he said.

He said he then went into the pas­sage with­out his pros­thetic legs and, over­come with fear, started scream­ing, and shouted for Ms Steenkamp to get to the floor.

The toi­let door slammed, re­con­firm­ing his be­lief there was a per­son or people in the bath­room, the ath­lete said.

“I heard a noise from in­side the toi­let, what I per­ceived to be some­one com­ing out of the toi­let,” he said tear­fully. At that point, he shot at the door.

Af­ter the shoot­ing, Mr Pis­to­rius said he had smashed in a door panel to get into the toi­let, where he dis­cov­ered what he had done.

“Whilst I leant over the par­ti­tion to get in, I saw the key, so I took it and I unlocked the door, and I flung the door open, and I threw it open,” he said, sob­bing.

“And I sat over Reeva and I cried... and um, I don’t know how long... I don’t know how long I was there for... She wasn’t breath­ing.”

As the ath­lete broke down, the judge ad­journed the trial. BBC

Mr Pis­to­rius is seen here leav­ing court on Tues­day

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