A CAR thief told a court yesterday how he fled from a stolen BMW seconds before police sprayed the vehicle with gunfire, leaving one of his accomplices with fatal injuries. Lee Kwok-wah, 28, said he had decided to make his escape on foot after seeing police vehicles corner the stolen car. 'The moment we stopped I realised we could not get away. So I opened the door to run away on my own,' he said, replying to prosecutor Maurice Tracy. 'I heard the sound of gunshots from behind.' The District Court was told the driver of the stolen BMW, Lee Pun, 28, had accelerated towards police officers, ignoring their calls for him to stop. Fearing for their safety, the policemen fired 19 bullets at the car. The prosecution summary said: 'The BMW ploughed across the road, mounted the pavement and crashed through a safety barrier and security fence. It fell on to an open space some eight metres below.' Lee Pun was found with five bullet wounds to his chest, arm and forehead. He lapsed into a coma soon after the shooting and died on June 6 last year. A coroner's jury later entered a verdict of lawful killing. Lee Kwok-wah was arrested in November 1993. He was sentenced to 41/2 years' imprisonment after pleading guilty to involvement in the attempted theft of the BMW and the attempted theft of a Mercedes-Benz in August 1993. Yesterday, he gave evidence against Chan Kwok-leung, 28, who denies being part of the gang. Chan pleaded not guilty to attempting to steal both cars and possessing false number plates. Lee alleged Chan acted as driver for the thieves as they cruised around the territory looking for luxury cars to steal. Their attempt to steal the Mercedes-Benz, worth $1.5 million, had been abandoned when a watchman became suspicious of them, he said. But the thieves had succeeded in breaking into the BMW, worth $880,000, in Marconi Road, Kowloon Tong. Only Lee Pun and Lee Kwok-wah were in the stolen car when police began chasing them. Chan, it was alleged, was driving another car which brought the thieves to the scene. The trial, before Deputy Judge Wright, continues.