LOS ANGELES — Carlos Reyes was just two feet away from Oscar Grant III when former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle pointed his gun at Grant's back and fired the bullet that killed the Hayward man, Reyes testified Monday.
The shot was fired, Reyes said, about a second after he was yelling at police to remove Grant from on top of his legs, where the 22-year-old had been pushed down by two BART police officers.
"I was telling them, 'Get him off my legs,' " Reyes said as he tried to hold back tears. "I looked away for a second and then I heard a gunshot."
Reyes said he looked back at Grant and then at Mehserle.
"I remember, I remember Officer Mehserle saying, 'Oh, (expletive), Oh, God, I
Reyes said the gunshot came after he and his friends were cursed at and manhandled by former BART police officer Anthony Pirone, who Reyes said kneed one of his friends in the stomach and continually used a profanity to order the group around.
Reyes said he saw Grant's face after the shot and heard his friend of 10 years tell Mehserle that the officer shot him.
"He looked back and he said, 'You shot me. You shot me,' " Reyes said.
Then, Reyes said, he watched as Grant's eyes opened and shut and blood began to trickle from his mouth.
"I could see Oscar laying facedown and he was closing his eyes," Reyes said. "We were telling him to stay awake; you could see blood coming out of his mouth
Reyes was the second close friend of Grant who testified Monday about the shooting, BART officer's aggressive actions toward the group and a confrontation Grant was involved in on a Dublin-bound train which sparked the police response.
Earlier in the day, Grant's girlfriend, Sophina Mesa, testified about the last conversation she had with Grant before he was shot.
Mesa said she left the BART train when it pulled into the Fruitvale station because she planned to stay at a friend's house, located about a mile from the station. As she left the train, she said, Grant stayed aboard and she tried to call his cell phone. Grant was later ordered off the train by Pirone.
It took several tries before Grant answered and spoke his last words to her.
"I kept calling and calling. He picked up my call, it was fast," Mesa said. "He said, 'They're beating us up for no reason, let me call you back.' Then he hung up."
Then, Mesa said with a pause, "I heard a loud — the gunshot."
Mesa was called to the witness stand by Deputy District Attorney David Stein to testify about her relationship with Grant, how they had a daughter together and how Grant had a fear of Tasers sparked by an incident in 2006 when he was Tased by a San Leandro police officer.
Mesa said Grant had told her on numerous occasions that he feared the Taser and would not wish its use on anyone.
"He said he wouldn't wish it and he wouldn't want it to happen to him again," she said.
Mehserle's defense attorney, Michael Rains, attempted to use Mesa's testimony to highlight's Grant's criminal past and conducted a combative exchange with the 26-year-old about how she learned that Grant had been Tased in the past.
That exchange was cut short by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry, who said, "The point is, (Grant) had a prior incident in which he was Tased."
Rains also used the testimony of Mesa and Reyes to highlight the differences in the version of events they described Monday and the versions they explained at various times after the shooting.
Rains appeared to focus on the confrontation Grant had with another BART passenger on the train which resulted in the train operator calling for assistance.
Both witnesses refused to describe the confrontation as a fight, although they had dubbed it a fight in other statements either given to BART police detectives or to an investigator for Oakland attorney John Burris, who is representing Grant's family in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the transit organization.
Stein had Reyes describe how he was beaten after the shooting by a BART officer, handcuffed and then held for hours afterward before he was questioned by BART detectives.
Reyes said he lied to the police during questioning on New Year's Day because he feared the police.
"I just saw them shoot someone close to me for no reason; I didn't know what they were going to do," Reyes said.
Mehserle is charged with murder in the killing of Grant. Rains has said that the shooting was a mistake caused by Mehserle mistaking his gun for his Taser.
In addition to Reyes and Mesa, several passengers who saw the shooting testified about how they believed BART police abused their power.
All said they did not see Grant and his friends resist arrest nor did they see Grant and his friends try to fight with the officers.
At the same time, they said Mehserle had a look of shock on his face after the shooting and immediately put his hands to his head after the shot was fired.
And, they said, after Grant was shot, the officers seemed to be more concerned about each other than Grant, who was laying face down on the platform.
"No one was checking the guy on the ground," said Lydia Kiersted, a passenger who saw the events that led to the shooting and the aftermath.