The man accused of murdering his girlfriend thought the safety catch was on when he fired the fatal shot, a court has heard.
Turiarangi Tai is on trial at the High Court in Auckland for the murder of Chozyn Koroheke, 22, at her Pakuranga home in April last year.
Mr Tai told crown prosecutor Mark Williams today he put the catch on the gun to the 'S' position before he reached the bedroom where he shot Ms Koroheke.
Mr Tai said he thought it meant the safety was on and although he said he wasn't expecting any trouble in the room, he said putting the gun in that position "was just a precaution".
But the 'S' position meant the opposite.
"I wanted it to be on 'S', I wanted it to be safe," he said.
Mr Tai had packed up his car to leave for a few days, needing a break from his girlfriend, he told the court.
He said he drove up the driveway and back again because he had forgotten the double-barrelled shot gun and Ms Koroheke's eftpos card.
He grabbed the gun before going into the victim's brother's bedroom where Ms Koroheke was along with her brother and his then-girlfriend, he said.
Mr Tai said he pointed the shotgun at Ms Koroheke's brother, Nacyn.
He also accepted he pulled the trigger and shot his girlfriend on her right side, but did not accept he intentionally aimed the gun at her.
"It was never deliberate and I stand by that," he said.
Mr Williams questioned Mr Tai heavily about any prior threats he had made towards the victim.
But Mr Tai maintained he "can't remember" how else he had threatened her.
Evidence was presented of a text message Mr Tai sent to Ms Koroheke, saying "four bullets if you don't pay up" which he eventually admitted meant he threatened to shoot her.
He said it was in the heat of the moment but the victim owed him $30.