Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 12th 2014 Contents A49
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PRETORIA---Oscar Pistorius friend tes-
tified yesterday that the Olympian twice
fired guns in public in the six months
before he killed his girlfriend, once with-
out warning through the sunroof of a
moving car following an angry altercation
with a policeman who had handled Pis-
Darren Fresco said he asked Pistorius
immediately after the sunroof shooting if
he was "mad" and the world-famous run-
ner "just laughed" at him.
Pistorius denies shooting the gun in the
car, although now two witnesses say that
Fresco s testimony portrayed Pistorius
as a reckless hothead who also asked Fresco
to take the blame for a gun being fired
accidentally under a table in a busy Johan-
But Fresco s account appeared to be
undermined when Pistorius defense lawyer
created doubts over Fresco s recollection
of some events. Fresco responded to a
number of questions from Barry Roux on
cross-examination by saying he didn t
remember. He also said he d been following
some previous testimony in the case on
Twitter, which witnesses should not do.
Pistorius, 27, is on trial for murder for
the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva
Steenkamp on Valentine s Day last year,
but also faces two firearm charges for
shooting in public and a third firearm
charge for illegal possession of ammuni-
Pistorius, the first double-amputee run-
ner to compete at the Olympics, pleaded
not guilty to all four charges against him.
He specifically denies that he fired the
gun in the car, Roux said.
Pistorius demeanour in court was dras-
tically different yesterday to the vomiting,
retching defendant who needed a bucket
to throw up in on Monday as he heard a
Friend: 'Mad' Pistorius shot gun out car sunroof
pathologist give graphic details of the injuries he
inflicted on his girlfriend when he shot her multiple
times through a toilet door in his home on February
14 last year.
This time, instead of hunched over and heaving,
Pistorius mostly sat with his hands in his lap in
the Pretoria courtroom and often made notes. He
denies murder in Steenkamp s killing saying he
shot her by mistake thinking she was a dangerous
Fresco, who said he was driving the car during
the alleged sunroof shooting in late 2012, and a
former girlfriend of Pistorius have both testified
that Pistorius shot his gun out the car.
But their stories didn t match in parts: Fresco
said Pistorius fired without warning sometime after
they were stopped by traffic police and after visiting
an unidentified person s house. Samantha Taylor,
who said she was dating Pistorius at the time, has
testified that it happened soon after the altercation
with police and after Pistorius and Fresco discussed
finding a traffic light to shoot at.
Fresco said the group was pulled over, for the
second time that day, and Pistorius was furious
with an officer for handling his gun, which he had
left on the passenger seat.
"You can t just touch another man s gun," Pis-
torius said to the officer, according to Fresco. "Now
your fingerprints are all over my gun. So if some-
thing happens, you re going to be liable for anything
Later, Pistorius shot out the sunroof, Fresco said.
"Without prior warning, he shot out the sunroof,"
Fresco said. Fresco said he was driving, Pistorius
was in the passenger seat and Taylor in the back.
Fresco said he "instinctively" moved away from
where the gun was shot.
"I said to him, are you (expletive) mad?" Fresco
said in his testimony.
"He just laughed," Fresco recalled. "But it felt as
if my ear was already bleeding."
Defense lawyer Roux pointed out that Taylor had
a different version.
Roux also questioned Fresco on the incident at
a packed Johannesburg restaurant in the posh Mel-
rose Arch district in early 2013 when he handed
his gun, a Glock 27 .40-calibre pistol, under the
table to Pistorius and it fired.
With a bucket on the floor nearby, Oscar Pistorius
covers his face with his hands as he listens to cross
questioning about the events surrounding the
shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in
court during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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