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Court sees graphic photos of Pistorius' home after shooting

Cops In Pistorius Trial Followed Key Trail Of Blood
BY JOHN MKHIZE

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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rdavidsonagency March 13 2014 at 3:58 PM

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1 reply
bikerace514 rdavidsonagency March 13 2014 at 4:06 PM

As long as AOL is making $$$$$$$$$$ they will keep showing them.

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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
Janet March 13 2014 at 10:15 PM

What does he swallow to be able to vomit so readily? His consistant "sickness'' makes me highly sceptical that he is really sick at all--except mentally.

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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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petersonentvt March 13 2014 at 10:13 PM

I am betting he knew exactly what he was doing when he shot her. He knew she wasnt an intruder that is almost a certainty. His over acting in court while oscar worthy is downright disturbing.

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Joanie Hardy March 13 2014 at 4:35 PM

Well what I don't understand is this, if him not knowing where the "intruder" was in that bathroom did he hit her in the head twice and the arm and hip? It's like he knew exactly where she was standing. I am sure that is not a small bathroom. (why didn't she go into the bath/shower area and wait. I think there was an arguement, and that's what happened. My opinion.

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mark and sheri March 14 2014 at 2:18 AM

Shoot thru a closed door? I guess he thought it was a Military Free Fire Zone.

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stafokused March 14 2014 at 6:10 AM

Wouldn't you think he wondered where his girlfriend was, before he shot through a locked door? His excuse doesn't hold water. Sounds like they had an argument and she locked herself in the bathroom, and he got pissed.
Case closed.

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1 reply
susan stafokused March 14 2014 at 7:12 AM

And then there's the whole fan storyline (yes, I DO mean storyline and all that implies) that made absolutely no sense to me.

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ChingOW Mango March 13 2014 at 4:38 PM

Wow! Vomiting on cue - amazing! This guy could have had a very successful career in horror movies. He is as sincere and real as that Juan Pablo -

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