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Pistorius told guard ‘everything is fine’ after shooting, trial hears

Oscar Pistorius, right, talks with his uncle Arnold Pistorius in court on the fifth day of his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, March 7, 2014.

Theana Breugem/AP

Follow The Globe and Mail's Africa correspondent Geoffrey York as he tweets from Oscar Pistorius' murder trial.

Minutes after shooting his girlfriend, a sobbing Oscar Pistorius told a security guard that "everything is fine," the guard has testified at his murder trial.

The security guard, Pieter Baba, said he had a "terrible fright" when he went to the Pistorius house a few minutes later and saw the Olympic hero carrying the mortally wounded Reeva Steenkamp down the stairs.

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Mr. Baba said he was shocked at the sight because Mr. Pistorius had told him that everything was fine. But he said he knew something was wrong because gunshots had been reported and Mr. Pistorius was crying in two brief phone calls with the security guard.

The trial has heard no explanation of why Mr. Pistorius would have told the security guard that "everything is fine" after the shooting, but defence lawyer Barry Roux is scheduled to cross-examine Mr. Baba on Monday when the trial resumes.

Earlier on Friday, the court was told that Mr. Pistorius fired his gun through a car's sunroof in a 2012 incident because he was "irritated" at a policeman who had picked up the weapon after stopping the car for speeding.

Samantha Taylor, who started dating Mr. Pistorius when she was 17 and had a relationship with him for most of 2011 and 2012, testified that Mr. Pistorius always carried his 9mm pistol with him, slept with the gun at his side at night, and was often ready to use it.

The double-amputee athlete known as "Blade Runner," who made history by competing against able-bodied rivals at the Olympics, is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by shooting her through a bathroom door on Valentine's Day last year.

He is also charged with two firearms offences, including the incident described by Ms. Taylor, but has denied all charges, saying he mistook Ms. Steenkamp for an intruder.

Ms. Taylor testified that Mr. Pistorius fired the pistol through the open sunroof of a car on a public road near Johannesburg, a few minutes after a policeman stopped the car for speeding. She said his pistol had been visible on a car seat and the policeman picked it up and cocked it, causing the bullets to fall from it, which infuriated Mr. Pistorius. "You're not allowed to touch my gun," he shouted at the policeman.

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As they drove away, Mr. Pistorius and his friend were still angry at the policeman and joked about how they should shoot out a traffic light, she said. Then he fired a bullet through the sunroof, making a very loud noise, and the two friends laughed, she said.

In a separate incident, she said, Mr. Pistorius took his pistol to the window of a car that had seemed to be following them, apparently threatening the driver.

In another incident, she said, he picked up the gun and carried it in the house when he thought he heard an intruder at night.

Ms. Taylor said she ended the relationship with Mr. Pistorius in November 2012 when he "cheated" on her by dating Ms. Steenkamp. They had also temporarily broken up at an earlier time when he dated another woman, she said. She was overcome with tears when she was asked about the break-ups, and the trial was twice adjourned to allow her to compose herself.

Mr. Roux said he had copies of e-mails that she sent to Mr. Pistorius that cast doubt on her version of events, but the e-mails were not disclosed.

Ms. Taylor's testimony challenged the Pistorius version of events on several points, including the shooting incident in the car. She disagreed with Mr. Roux's claim that Mr. Pistorius "sounded like a woman" when he screamed. She said he had often heard him shouting furiously and he never sounded like a woman.

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It is a key point because several neighbours said they heard "a woman screaming" around the time of the gunshots when Ms. Steenkamp was killed, and Mr. Roux has insisted that the screaming was actually Mr. Pistorius shouting for help.

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