Pistorius trial: Witness heard 'three loud bangs'

Oscar Pistorius. (AFP)

Oscar Pistorius. (AFP)

The third witness in the trial of murder accused Oscar Pistorius said he heard three gunshots the evening the Olympian and Paralympian shot and killed his girlfriend.

"I was awakened by three loud bangs. My wife asked me what it was and I said it sounded like gunshots," Johann Stipp told the high court in Pretoria on Thursday.

He lives at the Silver Woods Country Estate in Pretoria, the same complex where Pistorius lived and shot dead Reeva Steenkamp.

Stipp said that on February 14 2013, he heard screams coming from Pistorius's home.

"The woman screamed like three or four times," he said.

He then went back into the bedroom where he called security.

Stipp was the second resident of the Silver Woods Country Estate to testify in the trial that began on Monday.

State witness's conclusion
The state will try to prove that Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he shot and killed Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door at his home.

Pistorius's lawyers will argue that he mistook her for an intruder when he shot through the door.

Meanwhile, the other state witness, Charl Johnson, concluded giving evidence on Thursday.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel went through notes Johnson made about the screams and gunshots he heard in the early morning of February 14 last year.

"I was convinced that they were being attacked. The screams did not sound like fighting, more like panic and distress," Johnson said, referring to a woman's screams he heard at around 3am.

After Johnson was excused from the stand he took his wife Michelle Burger's hand. Pistorius looked at them as they left the court through the side entrance.

Another charge
Burger was the first state witness to testify on Monday. The couple's townhouse is about 170m from Pistorius's.

In addition, to the murder charge, Pistorius was charged with the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and is facing two counts of discharging a firearm in public after he allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

In September 2010, he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein. – Sapa

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