Oscar Pistorius screamed, cried and prayed while trying to resuscitate girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp moments after he shot her through the locked door of a bathroom on Valentine's Day 2013, his neighbors testified in court today.
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Pistorius called neighbor Johan Stander after the shooting.
"Please, please, please come to my house,” Pistorius said, according to Stander. “I shot Reeva. I thought she was an intruder. Please, please, please come quickly.”
Stander and his daughter Carice Viljoen were the first people to arrive at Pistorius’ South African home on the night of the shooting. As the Standers pushed the door open, he said, they saw Pistorius, 27, carrying Steenkamp’s body down the stairs.
The athlete showed an expression of relief when they arrived, Stander said.
His daughter described the Paralympian's frame of mind.
"He was just praying to God to save her life and he was talking to Reeva, begging her to please stay with him,” Viljoen told the court today.
“He said, ‘Stay with me my love, stay with me.’”
Viljoen told the court that for a moment, when Pistorius went upstairs to collect Steenkamp's identification, she feared he would shoot himself as she heard him mention to a paramedic that his firearm was still in the bathroom upstairs.
The trial had been on recess for two weeks before today’s proceedings in Pretoria.
Pistorius – a Paralympic athlete known as “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs – is charged with premeditated murder for fatally shooting Steenkamp. He says he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.
He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the premeditated murder charge.