Police expert Mangema says Steenkamp standing up when Pistorius shot her
  • 9 years ago
Originally published March 20, 2014

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During his testimony at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial today (March 19), police ballistics expert Captain Christian Mangema told court that Reeva Steenkamp was standing up when Pistorius fired the first of four shots at her through the locked toilet door and was in a protective position with her hands covering her head when she was hit by two more bullets.

Mangema, a respected ballistics expert with 20 years of experience, returned to the witness box on day 13 of the trial after telling the court yesterday about the methods he used to determine that Pistorius was standing on his stumps when he fired the shots and how he calculated the trajectory of the four bullets.

In today's graphic testimony, Mangema said Steenkamp was standing facing the toilet door when the first bullet hit her right hip, causing her to fall into a seated position on a magazine rack.

"Now, according to my consultation, that bullet penetrated and broke the hip bone of the deceased, now with this wound, if the hip bone is broken completely it caused her to fall down, because this leg would not be able to stand up," Mangema said.

Mangema said the second shot missed Steenkamp and broke into pieces on the wall behind her. The bullet fragments hit and bruised Steenkamp's back.

Steenkamp was in a defensive position after the second shot, with her arms crossed in front of her body and her hands protecting her head, Mangema said.

The third and fourth shots hit Steenkamp in the arm and head, he said.

Mangema could not determine the order of the last two shots, but he said that one bullet penetrated and exited Steenkamp's right arm. The other passed through her left hand and entered the right side of her head,