Witness says Oscar Pistorius asked friend to take blame for separate shooting
The Oscar Pistorius murder trial began in South Africa on on Monday, and already we have learned of another alleged incident involving the six-time Paralympic gold medalist. On Wednesday, professional boxer Kenin Lorena took the stand as a surprise witness to talk about the time he claims Pistorius accidentally fired a gun in a crowded restaurant.
Lerena said the incident occurred on Jan. 11, 2013 — one month before Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Lerena said he, Pistorius and two other friends, Darren Fresco and Martin Rooney, were dining at an upscale restaurant in Johannesburg when Fresco handed Pistorius a firearm under the table and said “there’s one up.” Lerena interpreted that to mean there was a round in the chamber.
In a testimony that was passed along by ABC News, Lerena told the court that a shot went off moments later and the dining room went silent. Lerena said the bullet grazed his toe and that he went to the bathroom to tend to the injury. He said that Pistorius apologized repeatedly and asked if everyone was OK.
After apologizing, Pistorius allegedly “begged” Fresco to take the blame for the shot going off so Oscar could avoid negative publicity.
“Please Darren, just say it was you,” Lerena recalled Pistorius saying. “I don’t want any tension around me.”
The managers of the restaurant then came over to investigate the incident and Fresco said the shot was his fault. Lerena said Fresco apologized to restaurant owner Jason Loupis.
“Sorry Jason, my gun fell out of my pants,” Fresco allegedly said.
The group then paid their bill and left, according to Lerena.
Pistorius, who saw his contract suspended by Nike last year, could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted.