The Woman said she raised her head and saw the Hanafi Muslim pump the action of his shotgun and then fire into group of hostages lying on the floor outside the office of City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker in the District Building.
"After that, I heard someone moaning and groaning,' Cordelia Antoinette Wilkins told a D.C Superior Court jury yesterday."Later, I learned that this was Robert Pierce.
"When he found out somebody had been hurt, the man with the gun told us to yell for our lives, so we did that," Wilkins related.
She was the first witness to relate the cirumstances attending the wounding of Robert J. Pierce, 51, a retired State Department official, during the takeover of the District Building March 9 by Hanafi Muslims.
Pierce, a student at Antioch Law School who was serving as a City Council intern, was struck in the arm and back by the shotgun blast. He is still hospitalized.
Wilkins and other prosecution witnesses in the trial of 12 Hanafis charged with murder, kidnaping and conspiracy in the siege at the District Building and two other Washington buildings said there was heavy firing between gunmen and police in the hallway outside when Pierce was wounded.
Defense lawyers have repeatedly raised the possibility that injuries during the siege were caused by police fire. Wilkins was the first to give eyewitness testimony that the blast was fired by a hostage-taker.
But Judge Nicolas S. Nunzio refused to permit Wilkins to identify the gunman is presence of the jury. He made this ruling after Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark H. Touhey III, one of the two presecutors, told him that Wilkins could not testify that she was "100 per cent positive" of the identification.
Shortly after the shooting, she said, she was sent from the office where the captives were held to tell police that hostages were there. She said she spent less than an hour as a prisoner. Others were held until the early hours of March 11, when all three sieges ended.
Pierce was released moments after Wilkins. Carmencita R. Kinsey and Helen Keys, both City Council employees, told the jury how they had dragged Pierce from where he had been hit to a reception area outside the Council offices.
Kinsey said she broke out glass in a window next to a doorway leading to the main corridor on the District Building's fifth floor, where Mayor Walter E. Washington also has his office, and then jumped to safety.
Beside Pierce, City Council member Marion S. Barry Jr. and building guard Cantrell were wounded at the District Building. Maurice Williams, 24, a radio reporter, was killed. Council Chairman Tucker was not present during the siege.
The Hanafis allegedly took 149 hostages at the District Building, the international headquarters of B'nai B'rith, the Jewish service organization, and the Islamic Center. Williams was the only person to die.
The defendents allegedly undertook the sieges to force officials to turn over five Black Muslims convicted of murdering seven members of the family of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, 55, alleged leader of the group, for purposes of revenge. Under the conspiracy theory, all are charged with the murder of Williams.
Court officials said the defendants have ended a hunger strike theybegan June 16 to protest the trail, which began May 31.