Police say Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and television personality, was cowering with her hands over her head when she was hit in the head by one of several bullets that struck her. But Wollie Wolmarans a former police officer and now a private ballistics expert, testified for the defence that he did not believe Steenkamp’s left hand was over her head. Wolmarans, who was testifying for the second day at Pistorius’ trial, also said it was his opinion that the four shots were fired in “fast succession,” apparently supporting Pistorius’ contention that he shot rapidly and in panic after thinking there was an intruder in the cubicle.
Pistorius’s defence tried to show that his girlfriend was still falling as she was hit by the last of the shots that killed her and not sitting holding her arms over her head to protect herself, as prosecutors have argued. “She was not sitting yet when the last shot was fired, “Wollie Wolmarans said.
Wolmarans’ testimony contradicted evidence given by the prosecution’s police ballistics expert who said Steenkamp was sitting on a magazine rack and desperately protecting her head with her arms when the last shot struck her. Both sides say the first shot likely hit Steenkamp in the right hip as she was standing behind the door, causing her to fall.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued Wolmarans’ opinion about Steenkamp’s position when she suffered some of the gunshot wounds didn’t make sense, with Nel citing the small size of the toilet cubicle and blood and tissue spatter on a wall and the toilet lid. The prosecution believes there could have been a gap between the first and the following three shots, arguing Pistorius fired with deliberate intent to kill.
A laser was used to demonstrate the path of one of the bullets during testimony during the trial.
The key bit of his evidence last week was that he said Reeva was likely leaning forward, close to the door when she was shot. The defence’s case argues Reeva may have been about to open the bathroom door, but the prosecution say she was likely hiding from Pistorius in the bathroom. The case continues.