Oscar Pistorius Shots Said to Have Come from High Angle
(PRETORIA, South Africa) — At the second day of a bail hearing for Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a South African investigator who arrived at the scene of the Feb. 14 fatal shooting said that Reeva Steenkamp was shot from a high angle, which prosecutors say contradicts the runner’s account that he was not wearing his prosthetics when he shot his girlfriend to death.
Pistorius, a double-amputee who runs on carbon-fiber blades, appeared in court Wednesday for the second day in a row after his arrest in the death of girlfriend Steenkamp at his gated home in Pretoria, South Africa.
Arresting officer Hilton Botha told the court on Wednesday that the 26-year-old athlete was standing in the master bathroom when he shot the supermodel, who was crouched in a defensive position behind a locked door in a smaller powder room. He also said that the bullets that were fired had been fired from high up, and the bullets seemed to be coming in a downward direction.
“[The angle] seems to me down. Fired down,” Botha told the court.
Pistorius said on Tuesday that he went to the bathroom and fired through the door before putting on his prosthetic legs. He said he mistakenly shot his girlfriend, thinking she was an intruder.
Prosecutors also said that they found two boxes of testosterone in the bedroom, although the defense disputes that, saying it’s just herbal supplements.
The court also heard that a witness, a neighbor who lives about 2,000 feet away from Pistorius’ home, heard nonstop fighting the morning of the shooting.
“We have a witness who says she heard non-stop shouting and fighting between 2 and 3 a.m.,” said prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who added that another witness saw lights on at the time of the gunshots.
Pistorius said he spent a quiet night with Steenkamp before the shooting.
Nel said that Pistorius’ actions and phone calls on the night indicate pre-planning, and that there was a “deliberate aiming of shots at the toilet from about 1.5 meters [about 5 feet].” He said Steenkamp was shot on the right side of her body.
Botha also said Pistorius should be considered a flight risk because investigators discovered that he has offshore bank accounts and a house in Italy.
“I think it would be hard to get him back,” Botha told the court. “This is a very serious crime, shooting an unarmed woman behind a closed door.”
Prosecutors also said they may file more charges for unlicensed ammunition, after a special-caliber .38 round was found in a safe in Pistorius’ home.
Botha told the court on Wednesday that he arrived at Pistorius’ home at 4:15 a.m. on Valentine’s Day to find Steenkamp already dead, dressed in white shorts and a black vest, and covered in towels. The only thing that Pistorius said was, ‘I thought it was a burglar,'” according to Botha.
Botha said that he attended Steenkamp’s postmortem, and that she had three entrance wounds: one on the head, one in the elbow and one in the hip.
Describing the scene to the court, Botha said that the shots fired into the bathroom were aimed at the toilet bowl. The shooter “would have to walk into the bathroom and turn directly at the door to shoot at the toilet the way the bullets went,” he said.
A cricket bat was also found at the scene. Botha said that he believes it was used to break down the top part of the bathroom door. The top part of the door was lying in the toilet, he said, adding that the shots were fired through the top part of the door, not the bottom.
Two iPhones and two BlackBerrys were found in the bedroom, according to Botha, and none were used to call the police. An overnight bag was also found on the left side of bed.
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