Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius tried to revive girlfriend after shooting, witness recounts (video)

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A crying, praying Oscar Pistorius kneeled by Reeva Steenkamp after shooting her, with two of his fingers in her clenched mouth, trying to open an airway for her to breathe, a witness said at Pistorius’ murder trial Thursday.

“I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp testified Pistorius said with tears on his face on Valentine’s Day 2013. “I thought she was a burglar, and I shot her.”

Stipp’s testimony marked the closest description in four trial days of what happened in the early morning hours of Feb. 14, 2013, after Pistorius shot four times through a bathroom door, hitting and eventually killing Steenkamp.

Pistorius said in a sworn statement last year he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot. Prosecutors argue he intentionally shot her after an argument.

Pistorius could face life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder with a minimum of 25 years.

In his statement, Pistorius said that after he realized it was his girlfriend, he bashed open the bathroom door with a cricket bat, found her still alive and carried her downstairs.

On Thursday, Stipp testified that on the night Steenkamp died he was woken by three loud bangs he thought were gunshots, followed by three or four screams he thought were from a woman. While calling an emergency number, Stipp then heard another three loud bangs, which he thought were gunshots. He then heard what he thought was a man’s voice shouting for help.

Stipp lived close enough to Pistorius’ house that, from his balcony, he could see a light on through Pistorius’ bathroom window.

He got dressed, drove to talk to security and then to Pistorius’ house, where inside he said he found another man named Johan Stander and Pistorius kneeling next to Steenkamp. The radiologist Stipp said Steenkamp showed no signs of life.

Pistorius said in his sworn statement last year that Stander and “a doctor who lives in the complex” arrived at his house after the shooting. Pistorius said Steenkamp died in his arms.

The trial is scheduled to resume Friday at 2:30 a.m. ET.

Here’s NBC News’ full coverage of Pistorius’ trial.

Stipp describes the scene when he arrived inside Pistorius’ house:

Stipp describes Steenkamp’s wounds, causing Pistorius to cover his ears:

Tweets of the atmosphere in Pretoria on Thursday:

Photos from the court in Pretoria via The Associated Press:

source: AP
People try to get a view of Pistorius during a lunch break from outside the court.
source: AP
Pistorius puts his hands to his head while listening to evidence from a witness speaking about the morning of the shooting.
source: AP
Oscar Pistorius’ sister, Aimee (right) speaks with members of Reeva Steenkamp’s family, one wearing a portrait Reeva.

Video: Ato Boldon offers perspective on Oscar Pistorius

Gus Kenworthy qualifies for Olympic ski slopestyle team

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Two nights after taking a massive slam in the halfpipe, Gus Kenworthy bounced back to earn a spot on his second U.S. Olympic slopestyle team.

Kenworthy placed second at the final Olympic qualifier for freeski slopestyle, which was held Sunday at Mammoth Mountain. That result, combined with a victory at a selection event last weekend, qualified him for the Olympic team.

It wasn’t the smoothest week for Kenworthy, who had been trying to make the U.S. team in both halfpipe and slopestyle.

During Friday night’s final qualifier for the ski halfpipe team, Kenworthy struggled to land a run and then had a hard crash on his final attempt.

On Saturday, he placed 58th out of 63 skiers in the preliminary round of a slopestyle selection event.

It was a different story on Sunday though.

By making the slopestyle team, Kenworthy will have another shot at an Olympic medal. He won a silver medal at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, where slopestyle made its debut, and was part of a podium sweep alongside Joss Christensen and Nick Goepper.

Earlier in the day, Goepper became the first skier to make the men’s slopestyle Olympic team. Because of weather delays throughout the week, Mammoth ended up hosting a pair of Olympic qualifiers on Sunday.

Goepper and Kenworthy were the only skiers to earn automatic nominations onto the men’s slopestyle Olympic team during the qualifying period. Two more skiers can still be added to the team as discretionary selections.

McRae Williams, the 2017 X Games silver medalist, has a strong case for one of those two spots. He finished sixth and fifth at Sunday’s two slopestyle qualifiers.

The other spot on the team looks a little more uncertain. Among the riders likely in consideration is Alex Hall, who was fourth at the final qualifier and is the next ranked skier in terms of qualifying points. It’s also possible that reigning Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen, who just returned to competition last week after rehabbing from a torn ACL, could be in the discussion.

While Kenworthy is now assured a spot on the slopestyle team, he’s likely on the outside looking in for halfpipe. The three automatic spots have already been allocated to David Wise, Alex Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace, and the discretionary spot appears likely to go to Aaron Blunck.

Discretionary picks for both slopestyle and halfpipe are expected to be announced in the next few days.

U.S. Olympic Qualifying Standings

Men’s Freeski Slopestyle
After 5 of 5 Events:

1. Gus Kenworthy, 180** (QUALIFIED)
2. Nick Goepper, 160** (QUALIFIED)
3. McRae Williams, 95
4. Alex Hall, 95
5. Quinn Wolferman, 79
6. Bobby Brown, 68
7. Noah Wallace, 60
8. Joss Christensen, 60

**Has met qualifying minimum of two top-three finishes.

Nick Goepper becomes first skier to qualify for U.S. Olympic men’s slopestyle team

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The U.S. men’s freeski slopestyle team has its first member for PyeongChang.

Nick Goepper qualified for his second Olympic team on Sunday as the U.S. selection events start to draw to a close.

Goepper, who grew up learning to ski in Indiana, was on the podium earlier this year at two of the first three selection events for the ski slopestyle team, which enabled him to meet objective criteria for Olympic qualifying. Though he finished just eighth in the first of two Olympic qualifiers being held Sunday at Mammoth Mountain, he was able to secure his spot on the team because no other Americans finished on the podium.

At the last Olympics, where slopestyle made its debut, Goepper won a bronze medal. He was part of a historic medal sweep and was joined on the podium by Joss Christensen and Gus Kenworthy.

Those two are still looking to qualify.

Christensen just returned to competition last week after rehabbing from a torn ACL. After not making the final at either slopestyle qualifier last week, he finished seventh at Mammoth and could be in contention for a discretionary spot.

As for Kenworthy, he took a hard slam in Friday night’s halfpipe final and then did not advance out of Saturday’s preliminary round for slopestyle. He is slated to compete in another slopestyle qualifier, which will be held later today. Kenworthy can still clinch his spot on the Olympic team with a top-three finish in that one.

Another contender for the team is McRae Williams, who was the top U.S. skier at Mammoth with a sixth-place finish. Williams won a silver medal at X Games last year.

While the bronze medal and the U.S. podium sweep put Goepper in the spotlight in Sochi, he is hungry for more.

“To be completely honest, I was a bit frustrated with my result at first,” Goepper told NBC Olympics last year. “I really wanted to win that day, and I went there with all the confidence in the world and the expectation to be on the top. I definitely feel like I’ve got some unfinished business at the Winter Olympics.”

Olympic qualifying for the ski slopestyle team concludes with a second contest later today.

Kenworthy is the only one who could officially secure a nomination in that event, but all other skiers will still be looking to earn discretionary spots on the team, which are expected to be allocated next week.

Up to four men and four women can ultimately be named to the U.S. Olympic slopestyle team.

U.S. Qualifying Standings

Men’s Freeski Slopestyle
After 4 of 5 Events:
1. Nick Goepper, 160** (QUALIFIED)
2. Gus Kenworthy, 140*
3. McRae Williams, 90
4. Quinn Wolferman, 79
5. Alex Hall, 57
6. Bobby Brown, 56
7. Joss Christensen, 54
8. Willie Borm, 50

Women’s Freeski Slopestyle
After 5 of 5 Events:
1. Maggie Voisin, 180** (QUALIFIED)
2. Caroline Claire, 92*
3. Devin Logan, 90
4. Darian Stevens, 85
5. Taylor Lundquist, 81
6. Julia Krass, 72

**Has met qualifying minimum of two top-three finishes.
*Has one top-three finish.