Pistorius shot girlfriend through door: prosecutor

Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:31pm EST
 
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By David Dolan and Peroshni Govender

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.   Continued...

 
"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. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko