By LIEZL THOM
Oscar Pistorius once went into "code red and combat mode" when he mistook noise from his washing machine as an intruder, a gun expert who had done business with Pistorius told the Blade Runner's murder trial today.
Sean Patrick Rens, a firearms service provider who facilitates gun purchases, told the court he had sold several weapons to Pistorius.
Rens testified about a moment in 2012 when Pistorius came home and went into "code red and combat mode" because he heard a noise that he feared was an intruder.
Pistorius later tweeted, "Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking it's an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!"
Pistorius, 27, is accused of shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through his locked bathroom door on Feb. 14, 2013. The paralympian has claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.
Pistorius paused on his way into court today for the third week of his murder trial to nod hello at June Steenkamp, the mother of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and a rare visitor to the trial. June Steenkamp nodded back at Pistorius.
After Pistorius took his seat in court, Pistorius’ sister Aimiee went to June Steenkamp, kneeling in front of her as the two chatted for several minutes.
But June Steenkamp had to leave the courtroom at one point when photos were displayed of Pistorius with Reeva's blood on his shorts and smeared on his body. The mother later returned to court.
A police photographer also described blood splatters above the bed where Steenkamp slept on the night she was shot, but how they got there and their significance was not explained.
The court heard today about Pistorius' love affair with guns and that in the months before he shot Steenkamp he had ordered seven more weapons, Rens testified. He told the court that Pistorius expressed a “great love and enthusiasm for guns.”
The gun order included a Smith and Wesson 500 revolver, a Smith and Wesson .38 special, a rifle or carbine vector LM6, a Winchester shotgun, a Mossberg Maverick shotgun, a Mossberg semi-automatic self-loading shotgun, and another self-loading rifle.
Pistorius received the Smith and Wesson 500, but the rest of the gun order was cancelled a month after the Feb. 14 shooting, Rens said.
Pistorius was aware of gun safety and had passed a firearms safety test, Rens told the court. Rens read from a written firearms test he administered to Pistorius, demonstrating that Pistorius understood the safety requirements associated with operating a firearm, and when it may and may not be acceptable to discharge a firearm. One specific hypothetical question outlined a scenario in which one sees strange armed men in one’s home stealing a stereo. Only in the scenario where two armed man advance on him in his home, with no security gate between them, did Pistorius reply that he would fire his gun.
In the section on "the importance of target identification", Pistorius answered, "Know your target and what lies beyond it".
Pistorius could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted.