Restaurant owner recalls Oscar gunshot

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iol news pic SAFRICA-PISTORIUS-_0305_11 REUTERS Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius sits next to the dock during lunch break at his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Pretoria - Jason Loupis, owner at Tasha's restaurant was the next step in the state's attempts to paint Oscar Pistorius as reckless with firearms.

Previous witness, Kevin Lerena, told the court how Pistorius had been handling a gun given to him by a friend, Darren Fresco, when a shot was discharged in the restaurant.

Pistorius allegedly told Fresco to take the blame for the shooting, which he agreed to.

Loupis said it was 11 January, a busy Friday afternoon lunch period.

He said there were about 220 people in the restaurant.

He saw Lerena, Pistorius and Fresco in the restaurant. Later he heard a loud bang. He went inside the restaurant to check, hoping it was not a gunshot.

He asked the friends what had happened, and they all looked at him blankly.

“No seriously guys, what happened here?” Loupis asked.

Fresco said the gun had fallen from his pants, apologising to Loupis for the shot.

Loupis tried to get everything in working order, and told his wife that the noise was the sound of a gun.

She went to the table to speak to the group.

Shortly after, the group paid their bill and left, and Pistorius never returned to the restaurant.

In his cross-examination, the defence's Barry Roux first asked if Pistorius apologised and offered to pay for the damages. Loupis said Pistorius had apologised but he couldn't remember about the payment for damages.

Maria Loupis, wife of the Tasha's owner was summoned next.

On the day of the incident, she heard a loud noise. She stayed seated outside the restaurant while her husband went to check.

He told her it was a gunshot, and she went inside, to speak with Fresco, Pistorius and Lerena.

When she asked what had happened, Fresco said the gun fell from his pants and went off.

“I asked him: what's the first rule of owning a gun? Safety first,” said Maria.

Maria said Pistorius did not give any explanation of the shot.

She then revealed that just next to the table where the group was sitting, a child had been seated.

Court was then adjourned until Thursday.

The Star

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