A friend and neighbor of Oscar Pistorius took the stand today, recounting what the athlete said on the phone after fatally shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
"Please, please, please come to my house,” Pistorius said, according to Johan Stander. “I shot Reeva. I thought she was an intruder. Please, please, please come quickly.”
Stander and his daughter Carice were the first people to arrive at Pistorius’ South African home on the night of the shooting, Valentine’s Day 2013, after Pistorius called them.
As the Standers opened the door, 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. Pistorius was crying, begging God to keep his girlfriend alive, the neighbor added.
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 shooting Steenkamp through a bathroom door. He says he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.
He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the premeditated murder charge.