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Court sees graphic photos of Pistorius' home after shooting

Cops In Pistorius Trial Followed Key Trail Of Blood

PRETORIA Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:49am EDT

(Reuters) - A South African court saw graphic images on Thursday of the bloodstained bathroom in which Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend, as prosecutors unveiled more details of the scene of the Valentine's Day killing.

Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg, the first policeman to arrive at the athlete's home in an upmarket Pretoria estate, described the grisly sight that greeted him in the early hours of February 14 last year.

During his testimony, photographs of Steenkamp's face and body were also shown accidentally to the court, upsetting Pistorius, who vomited into a bucket for the second time since the start of the trial, now in its second week.

Van Rensburg said that on his arrival at the home, he saw Steenkamp's body lying at the bottom of the staircase covered in towels and black bags. She had been declared dead by medics by the time he arrived.

Moments later, he found a "very emotional" Pistorius in the kitchen pacing up and down.

"I asked him what happened but he didn't answer me," Van Rensburg told the court. "He was in tears."

The colonel said a trail of blood led him up the stairs to Pistorius' bedroom and the bathroom where the Paralympic and Olympic star shot Steenkamp, whom he says he mistook for an intruder.

Pistorius' lower limbs were amputated as a baby but he overcame the disability to become the "fastest man on no legs", running on carbon-fiber "blades" to win gold medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics. He has pleaded 'not guilty' to murdering law graduate and model Steenkamp.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that the killing was premeditated. If found guilty of murder, Pistorius faces at least 25 years behind bars.

The court was shown photos of the blood-spattered bathroom floor on which lay a crumpled, blood-soaked towel and a cricket bat that Pistorius used to break down the bathroom door after shooting through it.

The photos showed empty bullet cartridges on the floor and the 9mm pistol with which Pistorious fired four shots. Steenkamp was hit three times: in the head, arm and hip.

Asked by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel what condition the firearm was in, van Rensburg said it was cocked, with the safety catch removed.

"It's ready to fire," he said, when shown a photo. "You just have to pull the trigger."

Van Rensburg, a police veteran of 29 years' service, was the commander of the nearby Boschkop police station at the time of the incident and had been on duty for 24 hours when he was called, he told the court.

He resigned from the police last December.

(Reporting by Tosin Sulaiman; Editing by Ed Cropley and Robin Pomeroy)

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davidlask120867 March 13 2014 at 3:56 PM

I am happy that the athlete is not receiving any preferential treatments

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1 reply
rrllort davidlask120867 March 13 2014 at 3:59 PM

He is, he is still alive. He should have been dead already.

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teresabono5 March 13 2014 at 4:12 PM

So careless with someone else's life, but fighting like hell to save his own!

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Tom March 13 2014 at 4:14 PM

Some people can cry when they want; looks like this guy can vomit when he wants. So his story, if you believe him, is that an intruder broke into his house, and he didn't hear them until he went in the bathroom and locked himself in there, at which point he fired his weapon through the door. This despite witness testimony that a woman's screams could be heard. What a liar.

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2 replies
LISA Tom March 13 2014 at 4:21 PM

IMHO vomitting means guilt

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=oP Tom March 13 2014 at 4:27 PM

I thought i read it the other way around. She was IN the bathroom and he shot through it.

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DOUG March 13 2014 at 10:58 PM

Oh please, nothing like a show for the court. The goof shot her. He knows very well what the crime scene looked like and how her corpse looked. Doing a little "Drama Queen" action for the court. He wasn't to concerned about throwing up after he killed her, just covering his sorry ass.

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2 replies
curves450 DOUG March 14 2014 at 1:29 AM

i concur.

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brassingtonmtg DOUG March 14 2014 at 7:37 AM


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jurgenjoshua March 13 2014 at 4:16 PM

He's faking it. He murdered that poor women. I hope they have the death penalty.

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Helen March 13 2014 at 10:40 PM

"The actor" should've made sure the person in the bathroom wasn't the GF,or wife,or child,whatever before shooting. Besides, he KNEW there was only him and the GF, they were together the whole night, so who else was there?....I hope the jury won't buy his story...

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3 replies
pdices1897 March 14 2014 at 7:07 AM

he needs to go to jail the man snaped and killed his girlfrnd

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hasanova March 13 2014 at 4:20 PM

Your article says the incident happened on Feb 14, 2014. It was actually Feb. 14, 2013.

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1 reply
lucecat hasanova March 13 2014 at 4:38 PM

The article actually says February 14 last year.

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1 reply
medworkcomp lucecat March 13 2014 at 4:39 PM

nope it does say 02/14 of 2014

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bk2erth March 13 2014 at 4:21 PM

Why was she lying at the bottom of the stairs covered with towels and black bags if he shot her in the bathroom upstairs?

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3 replies
Hi Stella March 13 2014 at 4:28 PM

here is what i find peculiar. he has a gun, there is someone locked in this little enclosed wc. why dont you just keep the gun aimed at the door, call out to your girlfriend to call the police, if she didnt answer, well you still have the great equalizer. the gun. legs or nut, gun was in hand. keep aim at the door, get your phone, call for help. why, why would you shoot at a bathroom door??? i think he is a liar.

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