Oscar Pistorius reacts during the fourth day of his trial.
One of the first people on the scene after Oscar
Pistorius shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp told a court he
feared the Olympic and Paralympic star, now on trial for
murder, might kill himself with the same gun.
Testifying on the fourth day of the trial, neighbour Johan
Stipp said he entered the athlete's home, minutes after
hearing screams and shots, to find the distraught South
African sprinter kneeling over the lifeless body of a woman.
"I shot her. I thought she was a burglar and I shot her,"
Stipp quoted the 27-year-old Pistorius as saying.
Stipp, a doctor, went on to describe his futile attempts to
revive Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate who
had been dating Pistorius for a few months.
She died after being hit by three rounds, including one to
the head, out of four fired by Pistorius through the locked
door of an upstairs toilet. He denies murder, arguing that he
made a tragic mistake after mistaking her for an intruder on
Valentine's Day last year.
As Stipp checked Steenkamp for signs of life, Pistorius was
begging him to save her life, Stipp told the court.
"Oscar was crying all the time. He prayed to God: 'Please let
her live, she must not die,'" he said.
At one point when Pistorius left Steenkamp, Stipp and housing
complex manager Johan Stander to go upstairs, Stipp thought
the athlete might be about to kill himself.
"I noticed that Oscar was going upstairs and I asked Mr.
Stander if he knew where the gun was because it was obvious
that Oscar was emotionally very, very upset," he said.
"I didn't know the situation in the house so I thought maybe
he was going to hurt himself."
During Stipp's graphic testimony, including his assessment
that Steenkamp was "mortally wounded", Pistorius sat slumped
in the dock, his head bowed and his hands covering his ears.
Pistorius had his lower legs amputated as a baby but went on
to achieve international fame as the "fastest man on no
legs", running on carbon-fibre prosthetic limbs.
Already one of the best-known Paralympic athletes, he
ascended to the pantheon of track greats at the 2012 London
Olympics when he reached the 400 metres semi-final, competing
against able-bodied athletes.
With rugged good looks and an easy smile, he was a sponsors'
dream, but since he shot Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last
year a different side to his carefully-groomed media persona
On Wednesday, the court heard how Pistorius had accidentally
fired a pistol under the table in a packed restaurant - right
next to a child - and then asked a friend to take the blame.
The prosecution has used the incident to portray an image of
Pistorius as a gun-obsessed hothead. If found guilty of
intentional murder, Pistorius is likely to spend at least 25
years behind bars.
Other witnesses have testified to hearing a woman's terrified
screams in the house before and during the volley of shots.