PRETORIA, South Africa Oscar Pistorius says he shot his girlfriend to death by mistake, thinking she was a robber.
The double amputee said in an affidavit read by his lawyer at his bail hearing Tuesday that he felt vulnerable because he did not have on his prosthetic legs when he pumped bullets into the locked bathroom door.
Then he realized that model Reeva Steenkamp was not in his bed. He says “It filled me with horror and fear ...”
He put on his legs, tried to kick down the door, then bashed it in with a cricket bat to find Steenkamp, 29, shot inside.
He said he ran downstairs with her, but “She died in my arms.”
Pistorius was charged Tuesday with premeditated murder.
The magistrate ruled that Pistorius faces the harshest bail requirements available in South African law. He did not elaborate before a break was called in the session.
Pistorius sobbed softly as his lawyer insisted that Steenkamp’s shooting was an accident.
“She couldn’t go anywhere. You can run nowhere,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel said at the bail hearing.
The shooting death has shocked South Africans and many around the world who idolized Pistorius for overcoming adversity to become a sports champion, competing in the London Olympics last year in track besides being a Paralympian. Steenkamp, 29, was a model and law graduate who made her debut on a South African reality TV program that was broadcast on Saturday, two days after her death.
Nel said the couple had had a shouting match and Steenkamp fled to the bathroom, down a seven-yard passage from the bedroom, and locked herself in. He said the 26-year-old Pistorius got up from bed and had to put on his prosthetic legs to reach the toilet door.
Nel told the court the door was broken open after the shots were fired. Pistorius’ lawyer insisted there was no evidence to substantiate a murder charge.
“Was it to kill her, or was it to get her out?” defense attorney Barry Roux asked the court, referring to the broken-down door. “We submit it is not even murder. There is no concession this is a murder.”