Pistorius shot girlfriend through door: prosecutor

PRETORIA Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:31pm EST

1 of 10. 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius awaits the start of court proceedings in the Pretoria Magistrates court February 19, 2013. Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was applying for bail after being charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend, 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria house.

Credit: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

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PRETORIA (Reuters) - "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius put on his artificial legs and walked across his bedroom before firing four shots through a locked toilet door, killing his cowering girlfriend in cold blood, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Reeva Steenkamp, a 30-year-old law graduate and model, died after being hit by three rounds from a 9-mm pistol, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

Pistorius, 26, wept uncontrollably in court as Nel outlined details of a shooting that has stunned South Africa and the millions around the world who saw the double amputee's track glory as an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity.

Later, in a dramatic affidavit read out by defense lawyer Barry Roux, Pistorius said he had been "deeply in love" with Steenkamp, whom he had been dating since November, and had no intention of killing her.

Having had previous death threats and break-ins, Pistorius said he slept with a 9-mm pistol under his bed in his plush Pretoria home in the heart of a well-secured gated community.

He and Steenkamp went to sleep on Wednesday night - the eve of Valentine's Day - some time after 10 p.m., he said.

However, in the middle of the night, he awoke in pitch darkness and thought an intruder had climbed through a window and entered the toilet, Pistorius said.

Without putting on his prosthetic legs - contrary to the prosecution's version of events - he moved on his stumps into the bathroom adjoining his bedroom and noticed the closed toilet door. He did not realise Steenkamp was behind it, he said.

He shouted for the intruder to get out of his house then fired several shots into the door, before calling to Steenkamp to phone the police.

When she did not respond, he grabbed a cricket bat to beat down the door and found her slumped on the floor, he said.

"I was absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva," he said in the affidavit.

As Roux read the statement, Pistorius sobbed unrestrainedly, prompting magistrate Desmond Nair to halt proceedings for several minutes. "You need to concentrate on what's going on," Nair told him.

The bail hearing was adjourned until 0700 GMT on Wednesday.

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Comments (32)
americanguy wrote:
This will teach people to worship ordinary people like gods.

Feb 19, 2013 7:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:
The absolute #1 rule of discharging a firearm is to a) be absolutely sure of your target and b) be aware of where the bullet will go if you miss.

Premeditated or not, this fellow needs to be in jail for a long time if for nothing else than stupidity. Stray bullets have a tendency of killing unintended targets.

Feb 19, 2013 7:50am EST  --  Report as abuse
forzapista wrote:
I’m calling BS on that story. So let’s get this straight, your girlfriend is spending the night at your place (presumably in the same bed). You hear a noise in the bathroom in the middle of the night. You KNOW that no one ever gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. You make no attempt to find out if said girlfriend is still in bed with you. You grab your gun in the darkness (still making no attempt to find said girlfriend) and then head to the bathroom and just start firing rounds through the door. Then you call to the GF and realize your “error.” BULL SH!T. premeditated murder it is!

Feb 19, 2013 9:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
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