Oscar Pistorius recounted feeling girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's blood "running down on me" after fatally shooting the model and law graduate.
Giving evidence at his murder trial for a third day, the double-amputee Olympian told how he found Steenkamp inside a bathroom after firing four bullets through its door. Pistorius testified Tuesday that he believed an intruder was hiding inside ready to "attack me or us."
"I could feel her blood was running down on me," Pistorius said. "I could see that her arm was broken."
Under cross-examination, Pistorius later described the shooting as "a mistake."
The sprinter said he realized Steenkamp was struggling to breathe so he “swiveled around” on the floor and pulled her into the bathroom so that he could put her down “softly on the carpet.”
Pistorius said he tried to use her cellphone to call for help but it had a passcode so he ran into the bedroom to get one of his two cellphones, which he used to call a neighbor to task for help.
"I knew there was nothing I could do for her"
That call was at 3:19 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2013. Court documents showed he then called his gated community's security office at 3:21 a.m. and 911 at 3:25 a.m.
Pistorius dragged her downstairs and said he waited in anguish for the ambulance to arrive. "I felt helpless. I had my fingers in her mouth to help her breathe."
The athlete said he put pressure on her hip to stem the bleeding.
“Reeva had already died whilst I was holding her,” before the ambulance arrived, Pistorius testified. “I knew there was nothing I could do for her.”
He continued: “I saw a person walking into my house. I later found out it was Dr. Stipp [a radiologist who lives nearby who testified earlier in the trial]. I don’t remember his face or what he looked like. He didn’t seem like he knew what he was doing. He seemed over overwhelmed by the situation.”
A paramedic later asked for ID so he got Steenkamp's purse from the bedroom and brought it outside. “I sat in the kitchen on the floor crying,” Pistorius said.
Pistorius said he asked a police officer if he could wash his hands “because the smell of the blood was making me throw up.”
“I don’t remember washing my chest, I just remember washing my hands and washing my face,” he said.
Police asked to take photographs and Pistorius moved to the garage. “I was in the garage for several hours. I asked the photographer to please take the pictures he needed so that I could take my clothes off because they were all just stained.”
A police officer then told Pistorius he was under arrest "because I was the only person in the house," the athlete recalled.
Pistorius was once again asked to remove his prosthetic legs and demonstrate the action he had performed when using a cricket bat to smash down the bathroom door to reach Reeva’s body.
“I hit the door with all my might,” he recalled. “I had socks on my feet. I was standing on a tiled floor.”
"I did not intend to kill Reeva, or anyone else for that matter"
The athlete was also asked about the timeline of his phone calls and the sounds heard by neighbors.
He said there were five minutes between his firing of the gun and using the cricket bat to break down the door.
“Did you at any time intend to kill to Reeva?” lead defense lawyer Barry Roux asked.
“I did not intend to kill Reeva, or anyone else for that matter,” the athlete replied.
On Tuesday, the so-called "Blade Runner" broke down in sobs after he recounted the moment he realized he had fatally shot Steenkamp early on Valentine's Day last year.
He also read out text messages sent by his slain girlfriend, including one in which she said she was "scared" of the Olympian, and admitted he “wasn’t kind to her like I should have been.”
Pistorius said that one of the WhatsApp messages had arrived on “a bad day in our relationship.”
He added: "I was a bit upset, I felt neglected. I was being sensitive … insecure or jealous."
Pistorius also explained how he always carries a gun but denied he had fired a bullet through the sunroof of a car.
The runner is accused of premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp. He insists it was a case of mistaken identity but prosecutors allege she was intentionally slain.
The trial continues.