An alleged gunman "smirked or laughed" after he walked up to an Indian student and shot him in the head in a Manchester street, a court has heard.
Kiaran Stapleton, 21, is accused of approaching Anuj Bidve, 23, and his friends in the street in Salford, Greater Manchester, and asked them for the time.
When one of the group answered he pulled a handgun out of his pocket, put it to Mr Bidve's head and pulled the trigger, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Mr Bidve was studying for a micro-electronics postgraduate qualification at Lancaster University after arriving in the UK last September and was spending last Christmas with friends in Manchester.
He was on his way from his hotel - walking through Ordsall, Salford - to the Boxing Day sales in Manchester city centre with a group of other Indian students when he was killed.
Opening the case, prosecutor Brian Cummings QC said: "Anuj Bidve immediately fell to the ground, fatally injured.
"The gunman smirked or laughed and ran off."
Mr Cummings told the jury: "I will ask you to keep in mind as we go through evidence in this trial is that Kiaran Stapleton's eventual admission that he is the killer came at an advanced stage of proceedings, and only after a significant body of evidence had already been gathered against him."
Stapleton has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder. His defence team are expected to call expert psychological and psychiatric evidence in the trial, planned to last four weeks.