Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) -- Oscar Pistorius broke down on the witness stand Tuesday, sobbing as he recounted the moment he realized he had fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

"She wasn't breathing," the track star heaved as he described the February night more than a year ago. The judge adjourned the murder trial as Pistorius' emotions unraveled and later ended proceedings for the day.

The Olympic sprinter had been explaining how he came to shoot Steenkamp, and how it didn't dawn on him at first that she, and not an intruder, may have been behind the bathroom door at which he fired his pistol.

"I didn't want to believe that it could be Reeva inside the toilet," he testified

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