Oscar Pistorius breaks down in court during Reeva Steenkamp murder trial
Oscar Pistorius broke down in court Thursday on the fourth day of his murder trial as a neighbor described the scene he discovered the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed. Johan Stipp, a radiologist and Pistorius’ neighbor, told the court about the immediate aftermath of the shooting that took place on Feb. 14, 2013.
“I went near her, and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp testified, via ESPN.com. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth. I remember the first thing he said when I got there was, ‘I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her.'”
As Stipp gave his testimony, Pistorius leaned forward on his courtroom bench and covered his face. He then moved them to cover his ears and remained that way for a while.
Stipp said he was one of the first people to reach the scene and noted that it was obvious Steenkamp was “mortally wounded.” He said she had no signs of life but that Pistorius was praying for her to live.
“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse,” he explained. “She had no breathing movements that she made. Oscar was crying all the time. He was praying to God, ‘Please let her live.'”
Another neighbor, Charl Johnson, testified that he heard a woman screaming before the gunshots were fired.
“I can confidently say I heard gunshots,” Johnson said. “I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice.”
Pistorius’ lead defense attorney Barry Roux told Johnson during a cross-examination that the sounds he heard were those of Pistorius breaking through the bathroom door with a cricket bat. He said the screams came from Pistorius as he cried for help. The defense claims Steenkamp could not have cried out for help, as she was mortally wounded.
“The fear … in the lady person’s calls contrasted with a very monotone male voice,” Johnson added. “The man almost sounded embarrassed to be calling for help.”
The defense contends that Pistorius did not realize Steenkamp was on the other side of the door until he had finished firing the shots. Police reportedly found a bloody cricket bat in Pistorius’ home while investigating the shooting.