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Oscar Pistorius Describes Night Of Shooting
Oscar Pistorius broke down in court today as he described shooting dead his girlfriend thinking she was an intruder.
In dramatic scenes, Pistorius described finding his girlfriend's body in the toilet of his home - wailing in court: "She was everything."
His sister Aimee and one of his lawyers then rushed through the courtroom to his side - before the judge was forced to halt proceedings.
The athlete's emotional breakdown failed to move June Steenkamp, Reeva's mother, who stared, stony-faced at the defendant, as he was consoled by family and friends.
Sky's Alex Crawford, who was at the court, described the wailing as "like animal sounds" coming from the athlete.
"He was consoled by his sister, but he continued making these loud wailing noises - it was very emotional," Crawford said.
Earlier, the athlete took his prosthetic legs off in court to to relive the moments leading to, during and after the shooting on Valentine's Day last year.
He described how he begged Reeva to call the police and grabbed his gun in the darkness after thinking he had heard an intruder in the bathroom of his home.
He told the court that just hours before he shot Reeva dead she had been doing yoga at the foot of his bed, stopping from time to time to kiss him affectionately.
Pistorius recounted the events of the evening in fine detail as he sought to persuade the judge that Reeva's death was a terrible mistake.
He began by explaining how Reeva had cooked him dinner and the pair ate about 7pm.
After dinner they sat at the dining room table and "chatted about our days".
"Just before 8pm I came into my room and I opened the balcony doors - it was very humid," he told the court.
"I drew the curtains around the fans. They were blackout curtains.
"At that point Reeva came into the room and I took my drink and I put it down on the bedside table.
"I locked the bedroom door and I put the cricket bat about 2cm from the door. I put the cricket bat on the floor so the door would be blocked by the cricket bat.
"I took my prosthetic legs off, so they could air. I put them as close to the door as I could. I climbed onto the bed.
"Reeva jumped on the bed and we were chatting. I was texting my cousin - Reeva was on a social media application. She was showing me pictures of cars and things that she liked."
Pistorius then called his cousin and Reeva got out of bed and started doing yoga at the foot of the bed.
"Every now and then, Reeva would get up and give me a kiss. Reeva then walked to the bathroom," Pistorius said.
"She called me to come and brush my teeth. She went back to the bedroom. When I came back she was lying in the middle of the bed."
Pistorius said that he fell asleep between 9 and 10pm.
His voice quaking, Pistorius continued: "I woke up in the early hours of February 14.
"It was extremely warm. I sat up in bed. I noticed that the fans were still running and the door was still open. Reeva was still awake. She rolled over to me and said 'Can't you sleep my baba?'.
"I said 'no I can't, not tonight'."
Pistorius said he then locked the sliding doors of the room.
"I came into the room. The only bit of light was a little LED light. I could see a pair of jeans on the floor. I picked them up and was going to place them over the lights.
"At this point I heard a window open in the bathroom.
"My lady, that's the moment everything changed. I thought there was a burglar gaining entry into my home.
"I think initially I just froze. I heard a noise and I interpreted it as someone climbing into the bathroom.
"I immediately thought someone could be there any moment and the first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself, to protect Reeva and I - that I needed to get my gun."
Pistorius continued: "I ran and grabbed my firearm. When I got before the passage wall, I was scared that the person could have been in a closet space.
"I had my firearm extended in front of me. I whispered to Reeva to get down and phone the police.
"I was overcome by fear. I screamed at the person to get out. I screamed at Reeva. I was constantly aware this person could come at me at any time. I did not have my legs on. Just before I got to the bathroom, I stopped shouting."
He went on: "I heard the toilet door slam. It confirmed there was someone inside the bathroom at that time.
"I thought the intruders were going to come out, or were in the bathroom. I was not screaming or shouting at that time.
"I approached this entrance to the bathroom. I was walking with my left hand to the closets. I had my pistol in my right hand. I peered into the bathroom.
"I was not able to walk with as much mobility on the tiled surfaces. I had my pistol raised to my eye.
"There were no lights in the bathroom. As I slowly peered into the bathroom I could see the window was open.
"I had my back against the wall, using my hand as balance, scuffling along the left hand side wall.
"I wasn't sure if the people were in the toilets or on a ladder they had used to gain access or around the corner at that point.
"I saw there was no-one around the corner waiting to attack me. At this point I started screaming for Reeva to call the police. I stood there for some time - I'm not sure for how long.
"I wasn't sure if someone was going to come out of the toilet to shoot me, or off the ladder and attack me.
"Then I heard a noise from inside the toilet which I perceived to be someone coming out of the toilet and before I knew it I had fired four shots at the door. My ears were ringing. I could not hear anything.
"I kept on screaming for Reeva to call police. I shouted for Reeva. At some point I decided to walk back to the room.
"At this point it had not occurred to me that it could be Reeva. I was talking to Reeva but no-one was talking to me."
Pistorius began sobbing as he said: "I got on the bed and put my hand down. I could not feel anything. At that point I thought maybe she had got down on the floor like I had told her to.
"It was at that point it dawned on me it could be Reeva. I made way back up the passage. I was mixed with emotions.
"I did not want to believe it could be Reeva inside the toilet. I was panicked. I was screaming and shouting the whole time and crying out.
"I have never screamed or cried like this before. I was crying out for Reeva. I was crying for the Lord to help me.
"I ran back to the bathroom door. I hit it with the cricket bat. At that point I wanted to just look inside and see if it was Reeva.
"I tried to open the door from the inside. I flung the door open and I sat over Reeva and I cried. I don't know how long I was there for."
Pistorius then began crying uncontrollably as he wailed: "She was everything."
Earlier in his evidence, Pistorius said he had bought Reeva a bracelet from a designer that she liked for Valentine's Day, which he planned to give her.
He said that Reeva had wrapped a present for him on the evening of the shooting but he was told he was only allowed to open it the following day.
"On August 8 last year, on Reeva's birthday, I opened it, it was a photo frame, with four photos of her and I and the card that she wrote....," he sobbed.
Pistorius was too upset to continue with the description.
Earlier, the 27-year-old was "dripping with tears" as he described the start of their relationship and read out a series of instant messaging texts.
In one of the texts read out in court by Pistorius, Reeva denies being a "flirt" and in another she denies being a "stripper and a ho".
Reeva also sent Pistorius a message saying: "I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you will act towards me."
In a reply to Reeva, Pistorius admitted to feeling "jealous and insecure".
Describing a fight at an engagement party he told the court: "I just think it was a bad hour in our relationship."
The athlete's voice faltered as he read a series of loving messages where they traded affectionate pet names.
The pet names included "amazballs", "baba", "boo", "angel" and "babycakes".
One text from Reeva to Pistorius read: "I only have eyes for you." In another she wrote: "I want to kiss you and feel your arms around my neck."
He denies premeditated murder and illegally possessing ammunition and two further counts related to shooting a gun in public in separate incidents prior to the killing.
Yesterday, Pistorius slumped on the floor of the dock after testifying for most of the day, unable to continue because he was too exhausted.
He wept and trembled his way through his first day of defence evidence, describing how panic attacks had left him hiding in cupboards since the shooting.
He told the court he woke "smelling blood", was unable to sleep and was on anti-depressants and sedatives.
Yesterday morning, Pistorius cried as he turned towards Reeva's mother June and apologised for all the hurt he had caused her.