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Thursday, July 31, 2014, 12:31 a.m.
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Friend: Pistorius shot gun out of car and at cafe

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 11, 2014 at 7:52 a.m.

PRETORIA, South Africa — A friend of Oscar Pistorius testified in the Olympian's murder trial Tuesday that the athlete twice fired guns for which the double-amputee is charged with firearms violations.

Pistorius denies guilt in both events, which took place before he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.

But his friend, Darren Fresco, testified Tuesday that Pistorius shot a gun through a car's sunroof, after having an altercation with police and months later in a separate event was holding a gun when it fired in a busy Johannesburg restaurant.

In the first incident, Pistorius became furious with a police officer who had pulled over the car Fresco was driving and handled Pistorius' licensed gun, Fresco said. Pistorius later fired the gun out of the car's sunroof without warning, he said.

Fresco's accounts corroborated much of the testimony of a previous witness who was present at the sunroof shooting.

Fresco also testified that at a busy Johannesburg restaurant he handed his gun, a Glock 27 .40 caliber pistol, under the table to Pistorius and the gun fired. Fresco said Pistorius asked him to take the blame, which he did. The restaurant incident happened in early 2013, about a month before Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

The runner is charged with premeditated murder in the killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. He also faces three firearms charges, including the two incidents of shooting a gun in public where Fresco was present. Pistorius has pleaded innocent to all four charges.

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