Jamming his fingers between the locked doors of his gun cabinet, Orren Williams pulled them with all his might.
Fortunately, they broke off and he was now able to grab a gun and some ammunition after four men, two of whom were armed, smashed their way into his Harbour Rd home just after 3.30am on June 6, last year.
Giving evidence to a jury of six men and six women in the High Court at Hamilton today, Williams explained that as he was hurriedly trying to open the gun cabinet, he heard two loud bangs come from the door to the laundry which he was in.
A small room, down a few stairs, it was "almost pitch black".
He'd just fled a scuffle with the men, who were holding his wife, Taryn, on the ground at gunpoint.
He jumped up, threw a punch at one of the men, and grabbed a taiaha before fleeing to the laundry and slamming the door behind him.
A few minutes prior, Williams had to gone to his front door after hearing some tapping.
Noticing the outline of a person, he opened the door and saw a balaclava-clad man crouching down with another man behind him holding what he thought was an axe.
The men then smashed their way through the glass before opening the door.
When in the lounge he saw three or four men run past down the hallway.
He swung his taiaha at the man in front of him, but doesn't believe he connected, likely hitting the wall instead.
However, they turned and came after him and he was pushed into the lounge where they then tussled.
"They were sort of grabbing me on the shoulder or arm and swinging at me ... I dropped the taiaha and was just breaking their grip with one hand and attacking them with the other [hand]."
When asked by Morgan how many men he was fighting, Williams said he wasn't sure.
"I wasn't sure. It felt like 20."
In questioning from his lawyer, Philip Morgan QC, Williams told him that when he heard the two loud bangs, he thought his time was up.
"I thought that was me done, they got me."
He was yet to load the ammunition into the magazine, which then had to go into the firearm.
However, the men didn't come down and he got the firearm ready. He couldn't hear anything and looked out of a window to see a man going to the right, then go back to the left then back again.
He could see the front quarter of a vehicle parked outside his garage. It then began moving frontwards down the driveway before pulling over to the left.
"I noticed there was movement around the car. Just shadows passing in between the lights."
He went to keep an eye on the guys after wrapping his singlet around his head to stem bleeding which he initially thought was sweat dripping down his brow.
He hid in his garage before going out in front of the paved area. Nervous, he walked to a tree and crouched down behind it before stepping out.
He then saw the silhouette of a man who appeared to be holding something a few metres away and he jumped back behind the bush. Thinking he had compromised himself, he stepped back towards the man and fired a shot.
"It was now or never. I [thought] I have been compromised and they knew I'm there ... I stepped back out to the right and raised my firearm and pulled the trigger."
Feeling as though he was "committed", "I just kept pulling the trigger".
In the distance, he could see some legs in front of the car's headlights.
"I just pointed my gun towards it and shot at it."
He ran out of bullets and, still unsure of what was going on, he ran back to the garage to get more bullets, worried that he had "pissed these guys off and they will be coming back to sort myself out".
He ran outside and saw the car had now turned around, with its headlights on full beam facing towards him.
"I was thinking they were trying to put the light on so they could see where I was."
He then fired off more shots, "aiming at the darkness above the headlights" trying to avoid the vehicle so that it could still drive off.
Again, he ran out of bullets and walked backwards while watching the lights disappear down the driveway.
He went back inside to find his family and saw the window open in his son's room and realised that's how they had probably fled the scene.
Williams will continue to give evidence after the lunch adjournment.
Williams, 38, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder Faalili Moleli Fauatea, 23, and three other charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He's defending the charges on the basis of self-defence and through his lawyer has said all the action he undertook that night was justified in the circumstances.
The trial is expected to finish this week and is being overseen by Justice Mary Peters.
* Shaun Te Kanawa, Grayson Toilolo and Joe Tumaialu were all charged with aggravated burglary for their part in the incident. Te Kanawa and Tumaialu have been sentenced, however Toilolo's case is still before the court. Emma Salvation, who hatched the burglary plan, was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 12 months' home detention.