Pistorius Had "Great Love and Enthusiasm" for Guns: Witness

The Pistorius trial is a consuming saga for South Africans that has drawn sheepish comparisons to reality television shows.

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
|  Monday, Mar 17, 2014  |  Updated 9:08 AM EDT
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Pistorius Had "Great Love" for Guns: Witness

AP

Oscar Pistorius, arrives at walks towards the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 17, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day in 2013.

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Months before he killed his girlfriend, Oscar Pistorius described how he drew his gun and went into "combat mode" after hearing the noise of a possible intruder at home, which turned out to be a laundry machine, a South African guns expert testified Monday at the athlete's murder trial.

Sean Rens, manager of the International Firearm Training Academy in Walkerville town, also said he had many conversations about firearms with Pistorius, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He said the double-amputee runner had "a great love and enthusiasm" for guns.

Rens said he met Pistorius in 2012 and trained in a gun range with him, and that Pistorius asked him to provide him with a revolver and was also seeking to collect other guns. In one conversation, Pistorius described how he was startled by a noise at home and decided to clear the house by drawing his gun and checking rooms, according to Rens.

"He went into what we call 'code red' or combat mode," Rens said. "When he came to the source of the noise, it was the laundry or something."

Pistorius had tweeted about the incident in November 2012: "Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!"

The double-amputee runner says he killed Steenkamp by accident before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013, shooting her through a closed toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder in his home. Prosecutors say he killed her after an argument.

Steenkamp's mother, June, was in the Pretoria courtroom for a second time Monday. She also attended the first day of the trial on March 3.

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