Oscar Pistorius’ love of guns described by firearms expert at trial
Oscar Pistorius “had a great love and enthusiasm” for firearms, a South African guns expert who used to go shooting with Pistorius testified at the double amputee Olympian’s murder trial Monday.
Sean Rens, a manager of a firearms training academy, said he and Pistorius went shooting together 10 or 12 times since 2012.
Rens was asked by prosecutor Gerrie Nel if there was any discussion about Pistorius’ interest in firearms.
“There were many,” Rens said. “He had a great love and enthusiasm for them.”
Rens later detailed a story similar to one tweeted about on Pistorius’ account on Nov. 27, 2012.
The tweet has been deleted, but here it is:
“I only have a half recollection of one story that he told me, which turned out to be a tumble dryer making a noise,” Rens said. “He went into what we call ‘code red’ or ‘combat mode.’ In other words draw his gun and go and clear the house as anyone would if they heard a noise inside their house. When he came to the source of the noise, it was the laundry or something in the laundry.”
Rens also described Pistorius’ answers to an exam asking if it’s justified to use a firearm in various scenarios.
Pistorius answered every question correctly, saying he was only allowed to discharge his firearm if intruders came at him with a gun and a knife and he feared for his life, Rens said.
Pistorius fatally shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013. He shot four times through a bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp inside.
The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot through the door after an argument with Steenkamp. Pistorius has said he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.
Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.
Also Monday, Rens testified about a Pistorius application for licenses for six guns, reportedly made less than a month before he fatally shot Steenkamp. Pistorius already legally owned the 9 mm Parabellum pistol he used to shoot Steenkamp outside of the six other guns.
The application was not processed, and the transaction was canceled about a month after the shooting, Rens said. Here’s a copy of the order to purchase the guns:
Later, a crime scene photographer went through a slideshow from Pistorius’ home after the shooting.
The trial is expected to resume at 3:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday.