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Reeva Steenkamp Was Standing When Shot, Expert Says

Pistorius trial

Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot and killed by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, was allegedly struck by the bullets while she stood in a defense position in a toilet cubicle, according to a ballistics expert.

Capt. Christiaan Mangena said that Steenkamp then fell back onto a magazine holder, before being shot again in her right arm and head by Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol.

The victim of the shooting apparently crossed her arms over her head to protect herself. Mangena said that he believes the second bullet fired missed Reeva Steenkamp and ricocheted off a wall inside the cubicle when it broke into fragments, causing bruising on her back.

Mangena concluded that one of the last two bullets fires went through Steenkamp’s left hand before penetrating her skull, but the order of the two shots was not certain.

Oscar Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting which occurred in February, 2013. He faces up to 25 years behind bars if convicted. Pistorius alleges that he shot Steenkamp by mistake through a locked door in his bathroom because he was convinced she was an intruder.

Mangena said that the bullet that struck Steenkamp’s head broke into two fragments, one of which exited her head and struck the wall behind her:

“I’m of the opinion that after this wound was inflicted, my lady, she dropped immediately,” he said, continuing, “She ended up with her head on top of the toilet seat, and the lower part of her body on the rack.”

The ballistics expert continued to speak about the impact that bullets in Pistorius’ gun had: “It hits the target, it opens up, it creates six talons, and these talons are sharp. It cuts through the organs of a human being.”

It remains to be seen what impact the testimony of the police expert will have on the ultimate verdict for Oscar Pistorius, as the case continues.

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