Shot fired by Oscar ‘no slip up’

2014-02-22 00:00

THE shot Oscar Pistorius fired in a restaurant just a month before he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp could not have gone off by accident.

This is according to evidence produced by the state for his impending murder trial. “The accused fired the shot by pulling the trigger”, according to state court papers giving more information requested by the defence team. “The specific safety mechanisms of this firearm ensure that it can only be fired when the trigger is pulled,” the papers quote a captain in the police’s ballistic division as saying.

“The accused was in possession of the firearm when the shot was fired. The state’s ‘allegation’ is supported by the slug in the floor.”

Pistorius was at the Tasha’s restaurant at Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013 when the shot was fired. He wanted to look at his friend Darren Fresco’s firearm, and “it was passed to him under the table”, Kevin Lerena, a boxer and friend of Pistorius’s, told sister paper Beeld this week.

According to the indictment, the firearm was a Glock 27 pistol.

“He wanted to see it and the firearm went off. He was sitting opposite me. I was eating. It was a big noise. It was like ‘ba!’, very loud. It was pretty scary,” said Lerena.

“Everyone got quiet and the first he said was, ‘sorry, I’m sorry, it was an accident, sorry guys, sorry guys’.”

Lerena said he got a big fright. “The bullet just missed my foot. I was very lucky, very lucky. It was an accident, but it could have been tragic. No one mentioned it, no one spoke about it, we just carried on.”

Lerena said he never reproached Pistorius over the incident. “I mean, he’s a guy. Like most guys, he does man’s stuff, boy’s stuff. These things happen. I never thought he was reckless or negligent.”

This and another shooting incident, both involving Fresco, a good friend of Pistorius’s, form the basis of charges under the Firearms Act.

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