Witness: Pistorius tried to revive wounded girlfriend

7:22 PM, Mar 6, 2014   |    comments
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Oscar Pistorius, left, listens to evidence from a witness who is speaking about the morning of the shooting of Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at the high court on March 6 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death on Valentine's Day in 2013.

 


 


(USA TODAY) Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius covered his ears, rocked back and forth and wept in open court Thursday as a witness at his murder trial testified about efforts to revive Reeva Steenkamp after Pistorius shot her in his South Africa home on Valentine's Day 2013.

Radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, also testified in Pretoria that he was concerned Pistorius might "hurt himself," South Africa's Times Live reported.

Stipp testified that he awoke to the sound of gunshots and rushed to Pistorius' home, where he found the famed Olympian attempting to resuscitate his girlfriend. Stipp said it was immediately apparent that Steenkamp, 29, was dead.

"She had no pulse in her neck, she had no peripheral pulse, she had no breathing movements," Stipp testified. "She was clenching down on Oscar's fingers as he was trying to open her airway."

Stipp said Pistorius was crying and praying "please let her live, she must not die,"Times Live reported.

"I couldn't do anything for her, she was way too seriously injured for that," Stipp testified.

Pistorius, 27, could face life in prison if convicted in the slaying of Steenkamp, a model and law school grad. Prosecutors say the shooting took place after the couple quarreled. Pistorius denies any argument took place. He has claimed he thought Steenkamp was in bed and that he accidentally shot her through the bathroom door, mistakenly believing there was an intruder in his home.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner, competed at the 2012 Olympics on specially designed prosthetic legs. Pistorius' lead defense lawyer, Barry Roux, started the fourth day of the trial by cross-examining another neighbor and questioning whether the man heard a woman screaming and then gunshots on the night Steenkamp died.

The neighbor, Charl Johnson, said he also owned a gun, a 9mm pistol, and knew what gunfire sounded like.

"I can confidently say I heard gunshots," Johnson insisted on cross-examination by Roux. Later, Johnson said: "I'm convinced that I heard a lady's voice."

Roux says the banging sounds were actually Pistorius hitting a toilet door with a cricket bat and the screaming was the distressed athlete calling for help - and there were no sounds from Steenkamp who had been shot in the head.

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