Oscar Pistorius had no intention of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and shot at the bathroom door believing an intruder was inside.
That is according to an affidavit read out in court today by his lawyer in a bail hearing in Pretoria.
In a statement read out by Barry Roux Pistorius, who denies murder, said: "I had no intention to kill my girlfriend."
Pistorius said on the night of the shooting he awoke to a sound in the bathroom believing it was an intruder and felt a sense of terror.
He said he didn't realise Steenkamp was not in bed and shot at the door, feeling vulnerable without his prosthetics.
He said he used a cricket bat to break open the bathroom door where she was slumped over the toilet.
He said she was still alive and called the paramedics before she died in his arms.
The athlete said he had been the victim of perceived death threats and so slept with a 9mm gun under his bed.
Earlier, magistrate Desmond Nair ruled for the purpose of the bail hearing the case was a schedule six offence or premeditated murder, which means it will be difficult for the 26-year-old to get bail.
Prosecutors claim Pistorius got up from bed, put on his prosthetic legs and walked seven metres before shooting Reeva Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nell said it showed it was a premeditated murder, adding there was "a motive to kill".
The athlete's defence lawyer Barry Roux said there was no evidence of premeditation, insisting he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.
Proceedings were stopped briefly as Pistorius sobbed uncontrollably as he listened to the affidavit.
Statements were read out in court from the friends of both Steenkamp and Pistorius.
Justin Divaris, the best friend of the athlete, said Oscar would often tell him how much he loved Reeva and she was a fantastic person who understood him. She could be 'the one', the athlete told him.
Sam Greyvenstein, Steenkamp's best friend and Divaris's girlfriend, said Reeva said she would marry Pistorius if he asked her. She said he was intense but she loved him.
"In my experience Oscar and Reeva had nothing but love for each other," Greyvenstein's statement said.
The bail hearing has been adjourned until tomorrow. The hearing will continue at 9am local time.